South Africa, Cape Town – Family of Khayelitsha woman Sibongiseni Gabada who was murdered early this year is calling for the case to speed up so her family can get to feel relieved of the justice to be served.
Gabada’s boyfriend, Sithembele Klaas, will appear in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Monday for allegedly killing her in May. He is suspected of stuffing Gabada’s body into a bag and placing it behind his shack for no one to see. Neighbours discovered her body under a pile of rubbish on May 29, two weeks after she disappeared.
The case was initially thrown out of court due to inconclusive evidence but was put back on the court roll. This as the country commemorates 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.
Gabada’s sister, Nomathamsanqa Gabada, said: “The case needs to be sped up. There have been too many unnecessary delays and this means that my sister will not receive justice the longer the case drags. The suspect has previous charges. This means he is a danger to society and should be convicted.”
She said her sister’s death was a great shock to the family. “The way she was murdered was even more shocking, discovering her body in a bag. The fact that the case was thrown out of court the first time around made me lose hope in the justice system. It was only through the help of Ilitha Labantu that the case was brought to court again. My family wants closure and this can only be done when the suspect is convicted.”
Ilitha Labantu is an organisation that advocates for the rights of women and children and is currently seeking justice for Gabada.
Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siya Monakali said the criminal justice system needed to treat all cases of violence against women and children with the same level of seriousness and urgency they deserved.
“Far too often, a suspect is arrested today and set free next week and the very same suspect will commit the same offence he was arrested for. This is a never-ending cycle where justice is not served. Successful convictions of perpetrators of GBV (gender-based violence) are needed,” he said.
Monakali said a lot more needed to be done to put an end to the scourge of GBV.
“We need to capacitate all relevant structures such as the police and civil society organisations to help them deal with the issue of gender-based violence. More funding and resources need to be allocated to these structures,” he said.