The Gugulethu community has vowed to stamp out violence against women and children after 87-year-old Evelyn Nombeko Tofu was killed earlier this month, allegedly for her pension.
Scores of women from the area, along with representatives of women’s empowerment organ-isation Ilitha Labantu, gathered outside Tofu’s home in NY28, Gugulethu, yesterday where her funeral was held.
“The people of this community cannot continue to live like this any more. We need to put a stop to all of this, and we can do it if the entire community stands together,” Ilitha Labantu’s Erica Raolame said.
The crowd of women were there to pay their final respects, but many used the opportunity to voice their concerns about the rise in violent crime in the area.
Nomaxaba Mqela, who lives in Gugulethu, said: “She [Tofu] was killed on a Monday and her body was only found on the Wednesday. She was 87 years old, but she did not act like an 87-year-old.
“She was always walking around the area and doing everything for herself.”
Another woman spoke of how she had evicted her own grandson from her home because she feared he would kill her for her pension.
As a result of Tofu’s murder, Ilitha Labantu will launch a month-long campaign to take a stand against violence against the elderly.
The organisation’s spokeswoman Sindiswe Moyo appealed to the police and the Justice Department to commit themselves to seriously addressing cases involving abuse of and violence on the elderly, and “make sure the perpetrators are brought to book”.
Ilitha Labantu aims to reduce and ultimately eliminate violence against women and children.
“Our head offices are here in Gugulethu and, judging from the number of people who come into our offices daily, we know that our message is being heard.
“It also shows us that the women of this community are starting to take a serious stand against violence,” Raolame said.
She said the organisation also helped abuse victims fill out paperwork for protection orders, and explained the process to them. - Sunday Argus