Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize, says Wits student and gender-based violence activist Asithandile ‘Kwasa’ Zozo’s killer must face the full might of the law.
Zozo’s killer appeared in the Dutywa Magistrates Court in the Eastern Cape on August 20.
His case was postponed to 26 August 2020 and has been remanded in custody.
“We condemn this hideous crime by all means and call upon law enforcement officials to leave no stone unturned in the quest for justice,” said Mkhize, adding that in such cases, the perpetrators should be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
“It is exactly these kinds of perpetrators we do not want back into society. He stabbed Zozo to death for rejecting him and took her life.
“We call upon men and men formations to intensify their reflection quite seriously and embark on educating their fellows against perpetrating GBVF.
“It is men who kill women, and not women killing themselves. Zozo was assaulted so brazenly and her life ultimately stolen from her and her family, drawing to a close her dreams, which she was at the cusp of. No one deserves such a horrible fate,” Mkhize said.
Zozo was killed during Women’s Month, something Mkhize said showed painfully that “women in South Africa have nowhere to run”.
“I read that Zozo was instrumental in organising protests in Dutywa after the killing of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana, who was tortured, raped and killed this time last year and was also of the same age,” said Mkhize.
Her father emotionally told the Deputy Minister’s office that the young woman was excited with her plans to go back to university after President Cyril Ramaphosa further eased lockdown regulations.
The Deputy Minister is encouraged that the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, as part of its role in the GBV emergency response action plan, has made progress in gazetting the Criminal Matters Amendment Bill, 2020, for public comment.
The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977, so as to further regulate the granting of bail and placement of persons on parole in respect of offences that have been committed against vulnerable persons.
The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1997, is also gazetted for comment, so as to further regulate sentences in respect of offences that have been committed against vulnerable persons.
The Deputy Minister wishes to pass her sincere and heartfelt condolences to Zozo’s family, relatives, friends and university mates.