SADTU in the Western Cape is saddened by, and condemns the alleged rape and brutal killing of 17-year old Amahle Quko, a Grade 11 learner at Sinethemba High School in Phillipi. The Union further condemns the murder of the 7-year-old Raynecia Kotjie of Belhar. She was a Grade 1 learner at Belhar Primary School. The attacks on our female learners cannot be tolerated.
The body of Amahle, fondly known as Pretty, was found dumped, naked and bruised in the early hours of Saturday 20 June 2020.
The current spike in Gender based Violence and Femicide in our country amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has left our most vulnerable in our society, the women and children at a low, fighting an invisible enemy in the form of the virus, as well as a visible enemy, the perpetrators of GBV, who in many cases are known to the victims
Making matters worse is the fact that these barbaric acts and senseless killings come during Child Protection month. The question inevitably arises: “Are we doing enough to protect our children? Have we failed our girl child in that we raise boys who do not know what it means to respect a woman, for whom she has only become an object of sexual desire?”
It is indeed sad that as we are engaged in a war against COVID -19 to save lives, men in South Africa have declared war on women and children of South Africa, causing immeasurable pain to families, friends and the school community at large. It cannot be correct that fear and anxiety should be part and parcel of the everyday lives of girls and women in South Africa.
As the Union we vow to pursue a relentless battle to eradicate this scourge of GBV in our schools and communities and we call upon the Department of Justice to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to book and justice is served for Amahle, Raynecia and all other victims of these horrendous crimes. We reiterate the call for NO BAIL for the perpetrators of Rape and Femicide.
We extend our sincere condolences to the family and the entire school community of the late Amahle Quku and Raynecia Kotjie. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
May the soul of our dear Amahle and Raynecia rest in eternal peace.
Issued by SADTU Western Cape