Femicide in South Africa: Why men kill women
Lawlessness‚ access to guns‚ an inferiority complex and other factors can be reasons why intimate partners kill their loved ones at such a shocking rate‚ say experts.
Recently‚ South Africans have been inundated with stories about women falling victim to femicide.
A month ago a Mangosuthu University of Technology student Zolile Khumalo was allegedly shot at her Lonsdale Hotel residence on Durban’s Point by her ex-boyfriend.
21-year-old Jabulile Nhlapo‚ from the University of South Africa was allegedly shot and killed by an ex-boyfriend at a commune in Vanderbjilpark a few weeks ago.
The suspect was denied bail and will reappear before the Vanderbjilpark Magistrate’s Court in September.
A lot of cases are coming to the fore‚ which begs the question: why do these men resort to killing their partners?
Javu Baloi‚ spokesperson for the Commission for Gender Equality‚ said men kill women mostly because they fail to navigate their way around rejection.
Among the key reasons is an embedded inferiority complex that many men suffer from.
Speaking on “the curse of the ex”‚ a trend where women are killed by their ex lovers‚ Baloi said: “They (men) fail to understand they must let go when love is no longer there. They think they own women‚ so the issue of power relations and entitlement plays a great role in why they don’t let go‚”
Baloi said abusive men do not want to accept rejection from women.
“You see them when they are courting a woman‚ they will continue even when they see the odds are against them. They don’t want to accept rejection from women but want women to accept that they do as they please.”
While women make up just 10 percent of gun homicide victims in South Africa‚ firearms play a significant role in violence against women - used to kill‚ rape‚ and to threaten and intimidate‚ says Adele Kirsten from Gun Free South Africa.
In South Africa‚ 83 percent of gunshot victims are killed‚ and of women victims of gun homicide‚ 68 percent are killed with a single shot‚ most often to the head and face‚ she adds.
“A gun in the home being much more likely to be used to threaten and injure family members than to protect the home from intruders‚” Kirsten said.
Siyabulela Monakali‚ Ilitha Labantu spokesperson‚ says these incidents highlight the lack of protection women have against perpetrators. There have been countless incidents‚ says Monakali‚ where women have filed for protection orders against their perpetrators but the perpetrators have continued to terrorise them‚ even to the extent of physically assaulting or murdering them.
He says the perpetrators feel that nothing will be done to them‚ thus they continue to abuse and victimise women.
“Far too often a perpetrator will abuse a woman‚ get arrested for the crime and a week later the perpetrator is out roaming the streets and committing the exact same crime they were arrested for in the first place. In South Africa we have laws in place to protect women‚ however the problem lies in the implementation of these laws.” Monakali said.
In 2017 the World Health Organisation recorded that globally as many as 38% of murders of women were committed by a male intimate partner.