From the news desk

Lekita Moore murder, result of gang initiation or serial rape – Activist

While the Cape Town community on Wednesday voiced their anger at the court appearance of a murdered Valhalla Park teen, activists are calling for an end to the scourge of gender-based violence within the country. Early Sunday morning, 18-year old Lekita Moore’s mutilated body was discovered in a field in 8th Avenue only 20 metres from another murdered teen, Xavier Bester (20), whose body was discovered only hours later. While many speculate that there is a link between the two murders, authorities say that it cannot be confirmed at this stage.  As the motive for Moore’s murder is still being investigated, the level of mutilation of her body,  her throat slit and sections of her private parts cut out, is speculated to be the result of either gang initiation or serial rape.

To gain insight into what factors may drive an individual to commit such a violent act, VOC spoke to independent researcher and gender activist, Lisa Vetten, as well as government and media liaison officer of Sonke Gender Justice, Patrick Godana.

Vetten explains that the driving force for committing the Moore murder is difficult to analyze due to the level of mutilation that was inflicted on the young girl’s body.

She affirmed that the injuries inflicted on the victim did spark speculation that the murder may have been a form of gang initiation or the actions of a serial rapist.

“A much more psychological way of looking at it is the fact that the manner in which Lekita was mutilated and multiple suggests a kind of serial rape. People would argue that when you use a knife it acts as a proxy for a kind of penetration.

Given the fact that she was mutilated, specifically in the genital area, Vetten asserts there exists a highly sexual component to this particular crime and further suggests a “misogynistic attack on what represents femininity.”

“The removal of the body parts could be to take back to the gangs to show others “look, I did this” or to keep the body parts to remind himself of his crime,” Vetten stated.

Vetten further notes that while it would be desirable to reform the perpetrator/s, if the individual/s suffers from a major social personality disorder then it may not be possible for the individual to be completed treated.

She says that individuals who display symptoms of psychopathy fundamentally lack the emotional intelligence to prevent them from committing the crime.

“If the individual is potentially a person who would remain a risk to others, then you will need to assess carefully if you would release that person,” she added.

In light of the fact that many perpetrators very often enjoy normal lives and are surrounded by family members, Vetten notes that there are signs that family members could notice, including the tendency to be harmful to animals.

“For the family and friends [of the perpetrator] we must not forget that it is a shock and that they too need assistance and support. They often blame themselves and, understandably, people tend to blame the perpetrators family – but the family is not the perpetrator.”

Godana explains that while Sonke Gender Justice is deeply disturbed by the incident, is calling the redress of the level of gender violence within South Africa as a whole.

He further urges law enforcement agencies to take all the necessary steps in order to ensure that the perpetrators in the Moore murder are brought to book.

“It cannot be the issue of justice system alone. As a community we have a responsibility to do things differently and government has the prime responsibility of protecting citizens,” he stated.

In a bid to combat the level of gender-based violence within society, Godana says that the organization has established a programme that is directed toward improving family structures through the implementation of improved parenting skills.

He says that since parents have a lifelong responsibility, in which they ensure the release of well-adjusted individuals into society, it is imperative that parents play an active role within youth reformation within society.

In addition, Gogana notes that faith-based organizations play a pivotal role in the structure of society, as well as in the development of individuals in all communities.

“We would like to call upon all those in leadership positions in those structures to ensure that we revitalise and bring value into the lives of our children,” he continued.

Gogana further urges government structures to ensure that the families of victims are provided with adequate care and assistance.




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