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Cops have failed us – women

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“He arrived at my house just before midnight and stormed into the yard while we were sleeping. He went to the back of the house to my son’s shack and banged on the door, shouting that he should open the door or he would start shooting”

TWO GALESHEWE women have broken the silence on how they fear for their lives, pointing a finger at the Northern Cape police for failing to protect them after they were threatened at gunpoint.

The women yesterday pleaded with the police to protect all women in support of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

The two women, Khethiwe Sekonyela and Anna Bogacwe, spoke up this week and expressed their fears after being threatened by their attackers, who, they stated, still roamed the streets with no consequences for their actions.

In the most recent incident, 42-year-old Sekonyela, of Thambo Square, Galeshewe, said she was threatened at gunpoint on November 10.

Sekonyela is now living in fear that the perpetrator will return after his case was thrown out of court.

According to Sekonyela, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declined to prosecute the case after the incorrect information was captured by the police when the case was opened.

According to her, the perpetrator was arrested on the same night after he came to her house and threatened to shoot her and her son. He was apparently looking for his girlfriend and children at the time.

“He arrived at my house just before midnight and stormed into the yard while we were sleeping. He went to the back of the house to my son’s shack and banged on the door, shouting that he should open the door or he would start shooting,” explained Sekonyela.

“After opening the door I found him with a gun in his hand and pleaded with my 21-year-old son to open the door.

“When my son opened the door he barged inside and started searching for his family inside the small shack, including looking under the mattresses.”

She said the perpetrator followed her son when he fled into the main house, which he also searched.

After the police were called they found the perpetrator’s car a few metres away from Sekonyela’s home. “However, they never made any attempts to open the car or search it.”

Sekonyela said she was taken to the Galeshewe police station to open a case, while members of the Flying Squad remained to guard the car in case the perpetrator returned.

According to Sekonyela, the perpetrator later arrived at the police station and found her there, where she pointed him out.

“He even tried to talk to me during the parade and I refused to listen.

“Now I am left confused, angry and scared as to what happened to this case as I fear that he is free and will come back and finish us off.”

Anna Bogacwe also shared her trauma story after she was assaulted and a gun was pointed at her and her two daughters by an unknown man.

Her case dates back to 2017 and, according to Bogacwe, they had to wait for the police for more than two hours while they were being assaulted and insulted.

Reliving the incident, she revealed how her daughter, who was 11-years-old at the time, was severely traumatised.

“In my effort to get justice for what we went through, I took it upon myself to search for the residential address of the perpetrator after opening a case. And there was still no action.

“After doing a follow-up of the case several months later, the investigating officer told me that the person that I opened a case against was non-existent.”

Bogacwe said that she heard from witnesses that the perpetrator was a traffic officer in Johannesburg and she even went as far as attending a parade in which he was participating to get his photograph.

“I took the photo of him in his full traffic uniform and handed it to the police to show them their incompetence. That was in December 2018.”

She says she was informed that the investigating officer who was handling her case was promoted and transferred to another station.

According to Bogacwe, the case was reopened but statements were only taken from witnesses.

She added that it was only recommended now that her children be referred to receive counselling.

Having suffered separate incidents at different times, Sekonyela and Bogacwe yesterday questioned whether a woman first had to die or be raped in order for the police to take action.

“They want us to be abused while they drag their feet and don’t do their work properly,” said an angry and frustrated Bogacwe.

“We are approaching 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children and it is our wish that all women’s rights should be supported equally, instead of our leaders preaching and glorifying the campaign while they wait for women to die or be abused first.”