Release Date: 10 February 2021
To: Editors, Producers and Reporters
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) wishes to welcome the sentencing of Siyabulela Mkayo by Judge Gerald Bloem yesterday in Alexandria, Eastern Cape. The CGE hopes that the sentence will serve as a valuable deterrent for would-be perpetrators of gender-based violence (GBV). Mkayo was sentenced to four life sentences and a further 125 years in jail, although these sentences will run concurrently. The sentence stems from a guilty verdict handed to Mkayo for what was reported in the media as reign of terror in the local community of Alexandria, Eastern Cape, between 2012-2018. Mkayo’s actions had devasting impacts on his victims. Some of the rape victims dropped out of schools and resorted to drug dependency while others had to undergo psychological trauma counselling.
The Gender Commission is of the view on matters of such grave brutality, lengthy sentences against perpetrators of gender-based violence should not deviate from mandatory sentencing guidelines. The Commission also trusts that the judiciary and law enforcement agencies will place greater emphasis on capacity building to ensure effective investigations, leading to successful prosecutions of gender-based violence and femicide (GBV&F) cases.
The Commission hopes that other additional measures besides capacity building for law enforcement for effective investigations of GBV related crimes should be put in place, including the rolling out of the National Strategic plan on GBV&F. The need for greater awareness raising on GBV among community members should become an ongoing priority not only for the gender sector, but also for society.
The CGE once again encourages South Africans to join hands across the country and every local community to be part of an all-out fight against GBVF. The Commission, for its part, continues to raise awareness and share information with South Africans to end the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide.