RUSTENBURG, November 27 – Boitekong near Rustenburg in North West province is ranked as the province with the highest in murder cases, according to the South African Police Service 2016/2017 crime statistics.
The township east of Rustenburg is standing at the top with a 66 murders, 193 reported sexual offences and 171 rape cases.
It is also rated as the city in the province with the second highest rate of assault with the intent to cause serious bodily harm, rated third in the province for drug and related crimes, 629 drug related incidents were reported.
In September this year, Mapula Mkhutle, 21, was found brutally murdered, her skull was crashed and her eyes were gouged out.
Residents believed the crime was spear headed by the SVK and HL (Hard Living) gang members.
Launching the 16 Days of Activism on No Violence Against Women and Children in Boitekong on Saturday, North West Social Development MEC Hoffman Galeng said collective efforts are needed to fight these statistics.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, on Human Rights Day.
Galeng said the statistics speak to communities about the treatment of women and children.
“There are laws designed to deal specifically with violence against women and children such as the Domestic Violence Act, Sexual Offenders Act and the Criminal Procedures Act which must be used to deal with gender based violence,” said Galeng.
Galeng said Rustenburg was one of the fastest growing cities in the world is being used as a thoroughfare between neighbouring countries where a majority of women, girls and boys were being trafficked.
“As we launch this campaign here today, let us all commit ourselves to play a role in protecting women and children.”
Recovering drug addict and ex-convict Thabang Sefotho, 39, urged young people to stay away from drugs as they are a gateway to hell.
He was sentenced to 12 imprisonment for possession of an illegal firearm, attempted murder and possession of illegal substances. Thabang only served seven years and six months of that sentence.
“I changed after I almost killed someone close to me, that’s when I realised I needed help and booked myself into a rehabilitation centre. People need to move away from the stereotype that rehabilitation centre specialists are magicians. You have to decide to be a better person,” said Thabang.
He has a non profitable organisation called #DrugsMustFall, where he deals with youth in drugs and crime.
“If you take drugs you have to feed the habit. Feeding the habit means you have to steal, you have to rob, and trust me you will end up in prison which is a dumping area, its hell. Prison is like a dustbin for people who don’t want to listen, I am very lucky and privileged to be outside,” he said.
“Carrying a stigma of being an ex-offender is hard because no one is going to trust you. You have to be strong, and personally I cannot force people to trust me but I’m going to let my actions speak for me.”