Gender Based Violence and Femicide in South Africa.

Am I Next?

Hi. I’m Kamogelo. I’m 17 years old from Johannesburg, South Africa and I live in a country that hates women.

A story I’ll never forget is the one of Uyinene Mrwetyana. She was a 19 year old student at the University of Cape Town who on the 24th of August 2019 was raped and brutally murdered by Luyanda Botha, an employee at the post office, when she went to the post office to pick up a package. I’m telling her story because she didn’t live to tell it. I’m saying his name because he deserves to be known and I will not be protecting the identity of a murderer and rapist. He pled guilty and got 3 life sentences. But that doesn’t bring Uyinene back. 

Her story isn’t one that’s new to the country. In fact, every single day, there’s a new story of a child or woman that was raped or murdered, or both. It doesn’t become easier seeing those stories. They all show us that the problem isn’t where you are, or what you are wearing, it’s about predators that feel that they have a superiority complex that is bred by society constantly feeding them things like “boys will be boys”. A society that protects them by victim blaming. A society that protects rapists, and policemen who disregard cases because they too have been told all of these things. “She was dressed revealingly” or “she wanted it”. 

Everyday is a heart pounding wait to see which children or women are the victims of these soulless crimes. It's a heart pounding day fearing if you are the next victim. Nobody should ever have to live like that. Nobody should fear going to the post office, to their university campus, or even to the bathroom. Men aren’t held accountable for their actions. The lives of women are constantly in danger because of men who are raised to feel superior.

The fight against gender based violence and femicide continues. So does the fear of being out in my own country.


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South Africa