“Please do not kill me, I have to take care of my child and my sick mother. Please help me, he is going to kill me, and please take care of my child.”

Those were the last words of Asalinto Lumkwana, who was st_bbed to death, allegedly by her boyfriend.

The incident happened on Saturday morning at Mchubakazi township outside Butterworth, Eastern Cape, just a few houses from Lumkwana’s home. It is alleged that Lumkwana, 26, was st_bbed to death in the presence of the suspect’s mother.

Lumkwana had been in a relationship with the 24-year-old suspect for more than four years.

The deceased’s sister Kude Lumkwana, 29, said the problem started when Lumkwana wanted her laptop back from the boyfriend.

“She had lent him [the laptop] about two years back but he refused to give it back to her. On Saturday, she went with her friend to the boyfriend’s house and took his music system. From there they went to the police station where she told the police what she had done. However, the police advised that she should take the music system back as she can be arrested if the boyfriend opened a case,” Kude said.

Read: Boyfriend kills 15-year-old girlfriend

She said as they were taking back the music system they met the suspect and his mother.

“He did not ask anything, instead he st_bbed her multiple times in the presence of his mother. Her screams and pleas fell on deaf ears. I still don’t understand what was going through that woman [the suspect’s mother] as my sister pleaded for her life. According to my sister’s friend, the woman kept telling people who were passing by that my sister broke into her house. On realizing that she was dead, she said she thought her son was just beating her up,” Kude said.

She said the family was shattered as Lumkwana left behind her six-year-old son.

“She was the one looking after our mother. We are hopeless and we have to explain to her child that he will never see his mother again. She tried several times to break up with the boyfriend but he would threaten her with a gun,” she said.

The community organized a march to Butterworth magistrate’s court where the suspect appeared yesterday.

The march was also supported by former PSL referee and general manager-turned-businessman Ace Ncobo, who said femicide has clearly reached catastrophic proportions.

“If we are able to declare a national state of disaster for a disease such as Covid-19 which allows government to redirect massive resources [to contain it], then surely we have reached the stage where femicide needs to be declared as a state of disaster. It is ongoing and none of the current measures are seemingly effective. Our girl children need a better country to grow up in,” Ncobo said.

Police spokesperson Capt Jackson Manatha said a 24-year-old suspect has been arrested and charged with murder. He has since appeared in court and was remanded in custody.

-Sowetan

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