Close your eyes and concentrate your aural senses on a woman screaming in pain and terror. Now hear more women’s screams of pain being added to the first one every 17 seconds. Hear the notes of desperation and panic mingling with the sound of fists hitting flesh and the grunt of crazed men raping women.
Statistics say that a woman is raped every 17 seconds.
That violation and assault is one that destroys lives and grinds former relationships to dust.
On 9 December 2010, Port Elizabeth born and now Johannesburg business woman, Andy Kawa, was raped and assaulted whilst taking a last walk on Kings Beach before returning home. Her devastated 23 year old daughter refuses to this day to return to Port Elizabeth to visit her granny and cousins.
To-morrow Andy appears in court to (hopefully) face her rapists and see justice done.
As a man I cannot even begin to imagine the demons that haunt a rape victim. I can only say that I fully agree with the sentiments of Gender Desk Councillor Nomvusalelo Tontsi who said that the community is ready to remove the penis (peni?) of men guilty of rape.
Today Andy returned to Kings Beach to lay ghosts to rest and to address locals as the Guest Speaker at an event celebrating the imminent completion of phase one of the Kings Beach upgrade.
Andy said; “Walking on Kings Beach used to be the highlight of my visit home until the ordeal in 2010. This need not be so. The beauty and peace of this natural resource has not changed, it’s only the criminals who have turned it into a zone of crime and carnage. I take great pleasure and pride to be associated with a project that will return the natural resources of Port Elizabeth to it’s people by making the beach safe for children and adults and rid it of bush dwellers and other criminals.”
MBDA CEO Pierre Voges said; “What happened to Ms Kawa on our shores is unacceptable, the Kings Beach upgrade is an opportunity for the NMBM and MBDA to ensure that it never happens again and that we pay attention to the safety of citizens and tourists visiting the beach, which is why we will also be putting out a security tender at the end of phase two.”
Phase one, at a cost of approximately R13 million, includes a massive waterway (maximum depth of 600 mm) next to the Kings Beach parking area together with fencing, grass, dedicated picnic area, a new play park for children and additional paving.
The waterbody is fed by water from an old spring being pumped out of the basement of The Beaches apartment block and will also act as a storm water attenuation area. The water will be circulated and cleaned through filters.
Phase two, at a cost of R25 Million, awaits budgetary approval and will include; seating areas around the waterbody, additional paths and walkways over the dunes, and upgraded and expanded skateboarding facility, basketball court, improved lighting and safer open landscaped area.