GBV activist arrested for GBV-related crimes

People representing different NGOs and ordinary people holding up placards outside the East London Magistrate Court protesting Mzamo Ntoni’s bail application.

The suspect, Mzamo Ntoni (41) who is accused of kidnapping, raping, and beating a 24-year-old woman, was at the forefront of discussions about combating gender-based violence (GBV) in the community. He participated in the Masivuke Community Development, his GBV-related crimes infuriated the non-governmental organisations in East London who were protesting in front of the court in the city on Monday.

According to the report, Ntoni committed this heinous act while under parole. He had previously spent years in prison after being convicted and sentenced for murder years ago.

The victim, who was present in court, was sobbing in agony and had red eyes. Her right eye had a scar from being beaten by Ntoni, who had abducted her for three days in his shack in Moscow, Duncan Village, where she said to have been raped and beaten.

According to the report, the victim did not return after going out for fun; days passed while she was in a situation of life or death.

During the time he kidnapped the victim, he visited Masivuke’s garden to plant, engage in conversation, and perform other routine tasks, according to Phumeza Kwababa of Masivuke Community Development. This infuriates her, she said.

“We were unaware that he did not actually practice what he was advocating. He was there at those meetings when we discussed and presented the ideas, we believed could be employed to stop GBV acts. But we are aware that he served time for murder, we saw that he was making an effort by helping the community develop, and we were confident that he was above board because he was still on parole.

“We are here because we do not want him to be granted bail and for Mzamo to be sentenced, preventing him from going out because the people, particularly children, are not safe in the community. Although we believed he had changed, when he did this, he actually took steps back. We, as these organisations, will strive to keep him imprisoned because he is a danger to the community,” Kwababa stated.

Ludwe Mbecela of the Hlumelo Foundation stated: “GBV incidents like this should not be prevalent, as it is harmful to our sisters who die at the hands of men. These are people who should trust and protect them. In a relationship, two people commit to one another out of love and trust. We’re here to demonstrate that there are men who care and who disapprove this.”

On May 19, the case will once again be heard. Ntoni is still in jail because he was denied bail. The petition from these NGOs was also approved.

Masimanyane Women’s Rights International, the Hlumelo Foundation, and the Khwelo Network, all under Masimanyane, provided support for the victim.