No sign of police investigation into murder of Nomanesi Klawushe

Delft community marches to Saps

Photo of protesters in Delft

Nomanesi Klawushe went missing in early August. Her burnt body was found on 12 August.
Photo: Zoey Schaver

By Bernard Chiguvare and Zoe Schaver

31 August 2016

Carrying a sign that read “Stop Killing Our Children,” 120 people marched on Wednesday from Leiden High School to the Delft police station to hand over a memorandum to Saps.

Marchers, mostly members of the Social Justice Coalition in Khayelitsha, were protesting lack of action by police and community members after the killing of Nomanesi Klawushe. The burnt remains of Klawushe’s body were found on 12 August, 1.7 kilometres from her home in Delft.

In the memorandum residents demanded a speedy and thorough investigation by the Delft Saps precinct. They also urged Delft community members to come forward with information about the killing and condemn gender-based violence in general and asked that the criminal justice system take harsher action against perpetrators of gender-based violence.

Many marchers wore SJC T-shirts and waved posters that read “Justice for Nomanesi, Stop the killing of women, Kwanele — enough is enough.”

Portia Ngotya, 51, a cousin of Klawushe, struggled to hold back tears. No investigating officer had come to the family since Klawushe’s body had been identified, she said.

She said when she checked at the police station, Klawushe was still listed as missing and the case had not been upgraded to a murder case.

According to her, Klawushe’s 12, 16 and 20 year-old children are now looked after by their grandmother.

“Police are not taking an active part. I think our community should call back the use of neighbourhood watch,” said Anelisa Nnconwa, Delft resident.

She said if police did not intervene to stop killing of residents the community will institute mob justice.

Chumile Sali from SJC said: “The importance of this march is for community members to stand up against gender-based violence. This should not happen in our communities or in any community, for that matter.”

Sali said Nomanesi went missing on 6 August. “It’s now been almost three weeks and there are no results. There has been a lack of action from the police and the community as a whole. Nomanesi was part of this community, she grew up in this community. The community did not even stand up to look for her.”

Asked how such violence should be stopped, Sali said criminal courts should be harsher on sexual offenders and abusers, and there should be more education around gender-based violence. “As a community, we are silent. It is our job to monitor these cases so justice is done,” he said.

Sali read the memorandum to Saps and handed it to Colonel Sedrick Hermanus.

“ We are working with relevant departments to clear the bush nearby used as a dumping area for murdered people in Delft,” said Colonel Hermanus.

However, Hermanus declined to comment on the specifics of this case, referring reporters to the provincial Saps media department. By the time of publication the media department had not responded to request for comment.

UPDATE at 10:22am on 1 September: Police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said: “Nomanesi Klawushe’s murder is currently under investigation and no one has been arrested as yet. Any person with a complaint regarding our investigation in this regards is encouraged to approach the management of Delft police station.”