Statement issued by Thandi Nontenja – UDEMWO Secretary General

The United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation (UDEMWO) is shocked and disturbed by the recent brutal rape and murder of 11-year-old Stacha Arendse whose body was found dumped in an open field not far from her home in Tafelsig. This atrocity happened within just a few days after the body of murdered Rene Tracy Roman (13), was discovered in a house on the same street where she lived.

These horrific attacks against women and girl-children are adding up and has become endemic to the Western Cape. But, we see far too many such incidents right throughout the country.

UDEMWO condemns these criminal acts and we call upon the members of the community to work together with the police to ensure that such cruel crimes are not committed. It cannot be that everyday someone dies at the hands of those whom they know and trust.

We are thankful that the alleged evil doers are behind bars, but we find it worrying that the man arrested for the attack on Stacha is a convicted rapist who was out on six months’ parole. We therefore hope that justice be swift and that harsh measures will be taken against those found guilty – they must never be unleashed on society again.

We urge the MEC of Community Safety in the Western Cape, Mr Dan Plato, together with all the relevant stakeholders to urgently intervene in curbing this growing trend of attacks on women and children in the Province. One soul is one too many.