A case that Action Society had been overseeing led to the conviction of a man who severely beat two women, leading to one of them needing brain surgery.
Patrick Cleophas was handed down 15 years for attempted murder in the Franschhoek Magistrates Court for an incident that happened a year ago on 27 February 2022. On the day, Cleophas (24) fought with his 17-year-old girlfriend, beating her. When her concerned friend (18) intervened, Cleophas also assaulted her, beating her so severely that she had to get an operation at Tygerberg Hospital afterwards.
The victim’s mother said she was very worried about her daughter when she heard about the severe injuries. “We were told that there’s bleeding on the brain, but we are happy that the operation was successful. I mean, she could have died,” she said.
She said it had been a long wait for the case’s outcome, and she finally felt a sense of relief when he was convicted. “I was very emotional in court, but he got what he deserved,” she told Action Society. “My daughter was fortunate to survive. What if we didn’t report the matter? He could have continued this behaviour and beat or even killed someone else’s child. Justice was on our side, and we probably saved another family from heartache.”
She also thanked Action Society for its support. “Action Society was there for my daughter and me throughout the process; we thank you for the hard work and persistence and seeing it through with us,” she said.
“We are satisfied to see justice and hope it is a deterrent to other GBV offenders,” said Kaylynn Palm, Action Centre coordinator of Action Society. “We remain concerned about the high prevalence of violence against women and children countrywide.
“According to the latest crime statistics, between October and December 2022, more than 17 000 women were victims of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. In addition, more than 1 600 women were victims of attempted murder, and 1 011 women were murdered during this reporting period.
“One more abuser has been removed from society. We are urging all courts to see gender-based violence and femicide in the same serious light and act accordingly,” said Palm.