South Africa is in shock after the killing of several women by their spouse in recent weeks. The head of state called on the country to mobilize against domestic violence. The country is notorious for its high level of femicide. A figure every eight hours a woman dies from the hands of her spouse or partner. For several days, thousands of messages circulated on social networks under the hashtag #Menaretrash, “men are garbage”.
There were several hundred on Wednesday, May 17 in Soweto to attend a ceremony in homage to Karabo Mokoena, the 22-year-old woman who became a symbol of violence against women. She was killed by her boyfriend who then tried to burn her body before burying her. A sordid but far from isolated incident.
Just last weekend, four women were found dead on abandoned land in Soweto. These murders highlighted a sad reality: more than 1,000 women die each year from the hands of their spouses or boyfriends.
A reality that South African society is struggling to cope with. Violence – especially against women and girls – is high, amplified by economic factors and lack of response from the authorities.
The associations complain that domestic violence is not taken seriously. Like thousands of women before her, on the eve of her murder Karabo Mokoena had tried to lodge a complaint with the police against her boyfriend to be told she had to solve her couple’s problems.