Monday, 19 September 2011

Crime and Courts

Widows living in fear

In the small industrial town of Uitenhage, outside the city of Port Elizabeth there is a growing trend among street dwellers as they think that women who have lost their husbands have money. About two different incidents have taken place whereby widows have had their homes broken into and held hostage by the thieves and been asked “where is all your money?” These incidents happened in the location of Kwanobuhle. These women feel that they are targets because the community knows that they no longer have husbands and feel like they are easy targets for people who do not want to earn honest money. “Because Kwanobuhle is so small, people know each other and therefore we know each other’s business” revealed recent widow, Ntombekhaya Mahlati.

For some reason criminals assume that these women keep the money they receive from their husbands life policy pay-outs stored in their houses somewhere. This is why these women install high fenced walls for their protection. Women without men in the house being targeted as they are more vulnerable than women with men.

No fatalities have been reported by the police, the women have only suffered property loss. Some of these women have requested more police patrols around their areas as a means of ensuring their safety. There are some concerns in terms of police response in terms of getting to the location of a distress call as some residents feel that the police come to the scene much later after they receive the call. As of now the statics favour the police as no one has sustained injuries because of this.

Nomazima Nkosi

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