Statement issued by Thandi Nontenja – UDEMWO Secretary General

The United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation (UDEMWO) is shocked by the incident of a 27 year old woman that was gang raped by three men in Komani, Eastern Cape. The incident that saw one of the rapists being stabbed to death while the other two men were injured by the mother of the victim opens wounds to women.

This incident is unfortunate. As the United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation (UDEMWO), we stand in support for the woman, not because she killed the perpetrator but because we believe her life together with her daughter was under threat. Any mother would have done the same should they find themselves in this kind of situation.

We do not condone the actions of community taking the law into hands but understanding and knowing that women are under siege in the hands of those familiar to them, we understand the situation.

If she did not defend herself she could have been the one killed by the perpetrators and we are certain that if they were going to be arrested, it was going to take time.

The mother and the daughter’s lives will never be the same after the horror.

That is why we would like to see the remaining perpetrators being brought to book for their inhumane action.

To government, more needs to be done in making sure that women and children are protected. UDEMWO has been calling for police stations in places that are rural to make things easier for the community members when they find themselves in situations like this. The mother of the victim tried getting in contact with police with no help.