The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape is shocked and devastated by the brutal murder of yet another young woman in Upington.

It was harrowing to hear from locals as to how the mother of the victim was yesterday called to the Morning Glory Cemetery to identify the naked body of her mentally disabled 27-year old daughter, after gravediggers stumbled upon her corpse.

It is alleged that the deceased was dragged to the spot amongst the graves, where her splayed and tortured body lay amongst the rocks.

The murdered woman would have celebrated her 28th birthday in just a week’s time.

It is gut-wrenching to imagine what she must have gone through. It is also heartbreaking to consider what her mother is currently going through and the trauma that she will have to endure for the rest of her life.

The cemetery murder is not the first of its kind to shake the town of Upington in recent months.

In July, an 82-year old grandmother was raped and murdered in Blikkiesdorp.

Earlier this year, a young girl was also raped and murdered, and her body left in the veld near the Bellview community.

The DA encourages the police to work around the clock to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are speedily brought to book. We also call on the police to thoroughly investigate this case, so as to guarantee a maximum jail sentence for the culprits. There is no place for murderers and sexual offenders on our streets and in our communities.

As we move into the annual 16-Days of No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign, we further call on the community, on government, on the police, on the justice department,  and on all sectors of society to take hands in the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) so that this young woman’s murder should not be in vain. So that the anger that we feel towards the ruthless criminal/s who did this, should not be in vain. And so that the sorrow that we feel for the victim, should not be in vain.

We are indeed a country and a province in the grip of a GBV crisis. It is high time that the “16 Days Campaign” changes its name so as to properly reflect the daily fight that we need to wage against this scourge, in order to keep our women, children and the elderly safe.