This week, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) Chief Ms. Angie Mokasi presented the Scientology Volunteer Ministers with a prestigious award for the tireless work…
During these dark times where communities are engulfed in a number of heinous social ills, hate crimes and lawlessness, a group of individuals decided to take a stand to bring back the sanity in our neighbourhoods. Basadi ba Mogale women’s organization was established on the 15th of August 2018. Meeting the feisty but friendly ladies one could feel the aura around the divas who made a strong decision to fight for the voiceless in our communities. Unlike their usual less formidable counterparts in communities around Gauteng, theirs is a lasting legacy of bringing criminal perpetrators in society to book and a relief to families who by no means might not have the legal muscle to find justice.
Executive member and founder Palesa Mothatinyana mentioned that the organisation came as a result of a suggestion to open a facebook account as an interactive platform addressing light-hearted women issues meant for celebrating women and their freedom. The 3 ladies agreed that the response was unanticipated, achieving a whopping 1000 followers within a day of its launch! Following this a lady posted a story of a lady who was raped and brutally killed and her body burnt in Kagiso next to Tso’s Butchery at the reservoir side. Following this gruesome murder, they organised a protest march which was hugely supported by a following s of women with a large number exceeding 500 triggering an immediate response from the then Mayor’s office.
Thereafter the ladies realised that this was a powerful platform and that they could go deeper in making a difference to ordinary people and in return find justice for helpless victims. It catapulted them to serious activists of gender based violence related crimes, representing women and children and beyond. But most importantly is their motherly interventions in society at large.
One example they mention is of a family who’s shack burnt down and they lost 2 of their children in the fire. “We organised, groceries, clothes, furniture, etc, for the family including emotional support and in another instance a homeless lady who received help in the form of goodies and accessories to get a new head-start in life.” Mentioned the ladies. “The process is simply that we would receive an inbox message from stranded victims and that is the point where we jump in. But currently we focus mostly on GBV cases as we have noticed that they are not slowing down in our communities.”
A case in point is of a 14 years old girl allegedly gang-raped by six young men and the seventh being an accomplice. “The six are currently behind bars and without us spreading the word the case would probably have been dismissed. It has reached all levels of government including the Provincial legislature and Parliament including the Department Community Safety led by MEC Faith Mazibuko. She has helped us in many instances.” Mentioned Basadi members.
Crucial and foremost are the circumstances that Basadi identified was that most people are not clued up with the proper information of how the justice system works. People go to open a case at a police station and after some time when they are not getting any response they do not know what steps to take. Is the case pending or have been dismissed? In that regard they have taken steps to outsource relevant guidelines for individuals to follow up on. When logging into the facebook page with a legal matter you conveniently get assisted as Basadi are familiar with the processes of the justice system from opening a docket through to court appearance. This is attributed to the fact that within the organisation there are professionals that assist with legal matters. Police officers, social workers, legal eagles, etc, who also assist in following up on cases that are not moving, empowering victims and families.
We are proud to call themselves the mother of Kagiso and Mogale as reflected on their theme with the picture of mother carrying child in the back. During the height of Covid-19 the organisation fed 300 plus children daily at the Soul City informal settlement in Lyceum, having started with a meagre budget of about R1500. In the feeding scheme, they were assisted by Cde Nomvula Mokonyane with foodstuffs and cooking accessories. They have recently registered the NPO to formalise matters and to be able to raise any funds that can empower the organization to help others in disasters as well as related circumstances.
From the beginning they have run the initiative from their own pockets and others came in to donate the little they could to keep them going. The little that people give out makes a difference. The amounts also help when they have to travel to the high court in support of victims on particular court dates. Even those not travelling with do contribute out of support. For picketing at court, they have to make an application with the JMPD office that requires a fee according to the City by-laws.
“As soon as the case enters court we will be there to make sure that it is heard.” Affirmed Basadi ladies. At court they are backed by the Community Safety Brigades who deal with similar GBV cases, attending hearings together and also mention the consistent presence of the ANC Veterans as well as the Youth league with the safety momentum reinforced by SAPS members.
Mostly on GBV cases at the high court they are supported by Cosatu, Popcru and Sadtu where in most cases the victims are learners. They however do not only advocate women and children cases but they also assist abused men in society, who receive support and counselling. We encourage men to establish their own forum where males can express themselves freely without fear. Some men are silent and afraid to come out and report abuse. This, they believe could also serve as a yardstick to measure which gender side suffers more abuse within our homes.
“We help everyone, we are a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. For justice to serve everyone. No favouritism, no VIPs.” A simple structure comprises of the executive who are at the forefront in an organisation with a large following. There are moderators and administration on the facebook page.“The little we do makes a difference in society” They reiterate. “We humbly work with high ranking officers to help fastrack pending cases thus serving communities effectively.”They affirm. For future prospects, they would appreciate shelters to be built for victims of abuse, especially those silenced for fear of financial abuse. A place for relief and perhaps offering skills where they can empower themselves.
“Some of the ills in society as we observe are caused by parents and guardians failing to reprimand their kids.
As Basadi ba Mogale we have no political or religious affiliation, we knock on all doors! We request that any form of assistance be forwarded to the following numbers call or whatsapp: 078 410 2940 / 078 269 6865 /
083 466 7079
Case – A woman was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in January 2020. The case has since got delayed by DNA screening and Basadi ba Mogale fastracked and inquired on the delay. In the process, they took it upon themselves to support the victim’s family and later received the direct response from the Police Minister Bheki Cele who has since released the statement that the technical issues on the case were sorted. Their strong presence and impact at the court in addition to circumstances around the case, prompted the Magistrate to refuse giving the accused bail.
Case – A woman was brutally assaulted by her boyfriend to the extent that she became disabled and as a result became mentally disturbed. It is alleged that she struggled to have her case opened. Therefore her cousin posted her predicament on the Basadi Ba Mogale facebook page, whose swift response got the man arrested the following day. The lady has since expressed her gratitude to justice being served for her relative. The case is now registered on the court’s roll.
Case – A woman and her 3 year old toddler were brutally stabbed to death by a group of gangster using substances. According to Basadi, what is distressing is that no one in the neighbourhood have since come forward to assist them. And attending to the family of the victim, the father was distraught when he went to inquire about the progress of the case only to discover that it had been withdrawn. Basadi helped check on the system and confirmed that it had indeed been withdrawn and not finalised at court. The best way that SAPS could have organised social workers to alleviate the trauma that the family experienced! We are there to bring hope to the helpless poor old man and his family.
Giving – Another success story was of the half built RDP houses at Kagiso extension 13 that became a haven for criminal elements, where a young girl was raped in the incomplete structures. Such neglected structures create an environment for heinous crimes where criminals target unsuspecting individuals passing nearby. On receipt of such complaints, the ladies approached the MMC for housing who facilitated the completion of the housing project. The RDP houses have since been occupied and Basadi also advocated the speedy process to getting the units electrified.
Jerry Sokhupe Soweto Sunrise News