Andy Kawa – MyPE Salutes Your Courage

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.

Andy Kawa

Returning to Kings Beach: Andy Kawa is flanked by Gender Desk Councillor Nomvusalelo Tontsi (left) and Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Councillor Babalwa Lobishe (right)

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Alan Straton

Chief Cook, Bottle Washer and Broom Mechanic at MyPE
Passionate about Port Elizabeth and definitely NOT packing for Perth. Alan's ethos is epitomised in the words of Nelson Mandela; "I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society. If need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." See more articles by Alan.

  • guest

    Well done Andy for sharing your experience with us.  It could not have been easy.  We wish you all the best for your bright future ahead of you.

  • Lolita Aaron

    Have only just read in BBC headlines about the Rape epidemic in South African and the apparent lack of response and willingness by the authorities, the citizens and the entire population to express their outrage, and to take action. It is not surprising that when the president of that country was accused of rape, and got a way with it, that this be an example for the entire male population . It is a tragic state of affairs, that needs attention..

    • Alan

      Agreed Lolita, it is a sad indictment on men and society in general that we allow this violence to happen.

      Those that do not speak out when they see the smallest wrongdoing are as guilty as those who break the law.

      If each one of us had to choose to concentrate on one unlawful transgression and try to re-educate people breaking the law (it could be a simple thing as people parking illegally in disabled parking areas …..) then we will eventually live in a more pleasant society.

      • Lolita Aaron

        Yes Alan, but I think it would take a colossal effort by the entire adult population who would need to rally in a way where all parties are treated as if they were victims. We are told that rape is not a crime of sex but one of wanting to exercise power over another.. If that is the case, this needs to be explored and addressed as an emergency public health issue.
        The powers that be and have the the means, should be urged to act and address the social ills in South Africa and make every effort to find ways to put an end to this tragedy.

        • Alan

          We need to “get ’em young” and start by teaching our youth (by example).

          Undoing the history of this violent crime is going to take a long time and concerted effort – each one of us can contribute by setting an example of the moral high ground.

          As a country we need to focus on the application of good morals – we know what they are but tend to slip into bad habits when we see people in the public eye getting away with bad behaviour.

          You and I are ‘the powers that be’ and we need to positively influence those in our close circles to exercise normal morals and pass that on.

          Unfortunately the culture, by all media, of showcasing criminals and making them more famous than their victims is going to be another hard cycle to break.