As the nation is engulfed with shouts of #EnoughIsEnough, the family of slain 36-year-old Sibongiseni Gabada are pleading with the justice system to do everything possible to put the man responsible for her gruesome death behind bars.
Gabada went missing two weeks before her decomposing body was discovered stuffed in a black refuse bag behind her boyfriend shack in Khayelitsha’s H section on May 29.
Gabada’s death and that of slain 24-year-old Naledi Phangindawo who was hacked to death with an axe, allegedly by her boyfriend, and 28-year-old Tshegofatso Pule of Soweto, whose heavily pregnant body was found hanging from a tree, have renewed calls for government to act against gender-based violence.
According to Gabada’s family, her body was found hidden in a bag under old wooden planks behind the boyfriend’s shack.
Speaking to Gabada’s younger sister, Nomathamsanqa, she she believed her sister had recently started dating the boyfriend, who had been arrested by police and later released.
“By the sounds of what her friends have told us, it was a fairly new relationship. But they confirmed that he was abusive and he bullied her. He would often tell her what to do, what not to do,” she said.
Though the Gabada family is reeling in pain and anger, justice is all they want.
“The justice system is failing us, it has failed us. How can they release him after he confessed to moving the body?,” she questioned.
“He told police that she arrived at his shack on the 24th and he left her there, when he returned the next day she was already dead and he stuffed her body in the bag she was found in with the intention of dumping it near the hospital. If she was already dead, why move her, is that not a crime on its own?” she questioned.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana has confirmed that “a 34-year-old man was arrested in connection with Gabada’s murder.”
The sister said they were heartbroken.
“I just want to know why he did what he did, if they had maybe gotten into a fight, why did he not kick her out and let her go home, why kill her and discard of her body like a dog,” said the distraught sister.
Many of Sibongiseni’s friends from high school have taken to twitter to remember her.
My high school friend Sibongiseni Hilary Gabada was murdered, cut up and put into a bag and hidden from the world for 2 weeks before her body was found. A man she knew has been charged and since released due to lack of evidence. This CAN NOT be our reality as women is SA. pic.twitter.com/9Abiz7S3It
— Portia Msamo (@deporsh) June 12, 2020
Can someone tell Cele that #SibongiseniGabada 's boyfriend is walking around free after admitting to hiding her body in a bag. And being suspect number one? https://t.co/8DRNbX2CZt
— BabesWePetitions (@Neli_Ngqulana) June 11, 2020
The decomposing body of 34 year old Sibongiseni Gabada was found chopped and stuffed in a sports bag!!
Our government is still quiet. I’m defeated ?? pic.twitter.com/8tCuinzC5p
— Odirile (@Odirile_M) June 12, 2020
Join the CBHS class of 2002 in our online memorial service for our friend and classmate Hilary Sibongiseni (Nomfazi) Gabada.
The memorial service will kick off at 15:00 (South African time) and end at 15:30,… https://t.co/bto1Mo9XpI
— Sibs (@SibuSikoShosh) June 12, 2020
Meanwhile, 34-year-old Mlondi Ntlangule appeared at the Mosselbay Magistrate’s court in connection with the murder of Phangindawo.