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Gender-based violence is on the rise in some rural areas of the Eastern Cape – SABC News

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A woman from Ngkobo in the Eastern Cape, Ziyanda Makonga, was attacked by her brother-in-law and his wife. She was hit by a sharp object and suffered severe head and face injuries.

She claims that the Ngkobo Police Station did not want to open a case against her until she produced J88, which she was unable to help with at the hospital.

Two weeks after the attack, Ziyand Makonga is still bruised and swollen. Her sister-in-law accused her of harassing customers after she asked a customer to buy her a drink. A fight broke out between them, which almost cost her her life.

“My daughter in law was hitting me and I was hitting her, her husband was holding me down so his wife could hit me, when I asked him why he was doing that, instead of stopping us both from fighting, he said he was watching me and that I am rude.’

“Then he left the room. I felt two blows on my head, but I did not know that I was being chopped with a bush knife. Then I fell down and the wounds were bleeding, I couldn’t even see with my eyes and it was so hard to breathe,” says Makongo.

When the victim went to file a case at the local police station, she was sent from the pillar to the post. She could not open a case until she produced a J88 form completed by a doctor.

“I went to the police station and they sent me to All Saints Hospital, at All Saints they said they couldn’t help me and I had to go back to the doctor who stitched up my wounds in Elliott. I went to see Elliot and when I got there I was told there was no doctor and he wouldn’t be available until next month.’

The victim’s family is demanding justice for her.

Makongi’s sister, Ntombizandile Mlapho, says what was more painful was that the criminals wanted to kill her by making sure she couldn’t breathe. Mlafo says they feel let down by the Department of Health and the police.

“It’s disgusting, I hate it, I even wanted to take the law into my own hands because there is no justice in South Africa. There is no way a person can be injured on a Sunday night and taken to the hospital, then when she goes to the police they don’t take action when my sister was hurt like that.”

The incident also sparked outrage from women’s rights groups. Petros Maiola, director of the Hula Community Development Project, says J88 should be available in hospitals.

“The police on the other hand should not wait for the victim to bring the J88 before they can open a case. In this case, the police officers should have opened a case so that this person could be arrested, because now there is no justice, they are just playing.”

“We talk about gender-based violence but these two departments are not helping us, that is the health department and the SAPS, they are playing with the victims.”

The police went to take the victim’s statement only after she was visited by SABC officers.

EC police spokesman Tembinkosi Kinana says the couple who attacked her have been arrested.

“The applicant has since been assisted by SAP management and as we speak, a case has been opened, two suspects have been arrested and are expected to appear before the Ngcobo Magistrate’s Court on Monday.”

Both suspects face charges of attempted murder.

EU health department spokeswoman Yonela Dekeda says the patient initially did not submit the required J88 to be filled out by the doctor at the time.

“The hospital has taken steps to complete J88; the customer is redressed through our customer service complaint management processes.’

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has officially launched the 16 days of activism as one of the ways to combat the fast-growing GBV in the province. But in some police stations across the province, more cases of GBV go unsolved. An investigation into unsolved cases is underway in one of these police stations. -Additional reporting by Nomzwanele Mngoma

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