gender-based violence

Court declares husband, charged with murdering his wife, 'unworthy' to bury her

A high court judge in Lesotho has found a husband ‘unworthy’ to bury his wife, because the evidence indicated that he had ‘brutalised her in what was plainly a ‘callous act of domestic violence’. Her birth family had asked that they be allowed to bury her instead, a move strongly opposed by the husband, charged with her murder and out on bail. He claimed that, as the heir, he had the right to bury her. Finding the husband responsible for the woman’s death, Judge Moroke Mokhesi said such behaviour offended public policy the world over.


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What does the 17thC legal writer Johannes Voet have to do with a dispute in modern-day Lesotho? Quite a lot, as it turns out. For it was Voet who wrote about the principles that must apply when deciding who has the ‘right’ to bury a deceased person, and Judge Moroke Mokhesi of the high court in Lesotho quoted that author to explain that a woman’s blood relatives had every right to ask for the right to bury her.

Judges told not to make traditional rituals a condition of bail in sexual assault cases

The supreme court of India has slammed judges who impose ‘wholly inappropriate’ bail conditions in cases of sexual violence, like requiring that the accused visit the woman concerned and give her gifts. The court has also ordered that judges, lawyers and prosecutors must undergo gender sensitivity training to stop language and bail conditions that retraumatise victims.

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It’s hard to believe that a court, considering bail in a sexual harassment case, should stipulate that the accused must visit the woman concerned with ‘a box of sweets’ and request her to complete various traditional rituals with him, that would bind them together as ‘brother and sister’.

A war against the nation's women and children - Ramaphosa

In his most recent address to the country on the Covid-19 situation, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has spoken about easing the restrictions imposed on the country since March 27. But he took his audience by surprise when he deviated from his usual format to speak strongly – even with some passion – about the terrible increase of killings and abuse of women and children that has characterised the period of restrictions imposed to curb the Coronavirus.

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa currently chairs the African Union, and in that capacity he used his address of June 17 to speak about the supply of testing kits, personal protection and other resources needed by all African countries.

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