Tuesday Stabbing of Expectant Mother in South Africa “is shocking”: Bishop

Protestors in South Africa on stopping violence against women

After the outcry against gender-based killings targeting women and girls in South Africa that was termed a crime against humanity, the most recent murder of a 31-year-old expectant mother in the country “is shocking,” Bishop Victor Phalana of Klerksdorp, South Africa, has told ACI Africa.

According to local media in South Africa, Primary schoolteacher Karen Turner who was three months pregnant was stabbed to death by unknown people on Tuesday, September 25 while on a family vacation at Hluleka Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape province of one of Africa’s most industrialized country. 

“It is shocking, to hear of this murder of a pregnant mother of a two-year-old,” Bishop Phalana told ACI Africa Wednesday and added, “It is just beyond my understanding.”

Following the incident, Bishop Phalana who heads the Justice and Peace commission of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) emphasized the need to “speak out against gender-based violence” in the country while making every effort “to (conscientize) our boys and men to continue treating women and girls with respect.”

In order to help curb such violence, the Prelate called for tough punishments on perpetrators of the crime saying, “Perpetrators must be arrested swiftly and receive hefty sentences. This might be a deterrent to would-be-abusers.”


“Femicide in a country like South Africa, where we do not have capital punishment must be a crime with a life sentence and nothing less than that,” Bishop Phalana said.

He went on to hail British royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan who are visiting South Africa for speaking up against femicide.

“It is important that Harry and Meghan have added (their) voice against femicide and gender-based violence in general. When celebrities speak out, the world listens,” Bishop Phalana told ACI Africa.

Harry and Meghan together with their son Archie have been in South Africa since Monday, September 23. The couple has decried violence targeting women and girls.

“Touching on what your president said last week, no man is born to cause harm to women, this is learnt behaviour and a cycle that needs to be broken,” Prince Harry has been quoted as saying.

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Widely shared statistics indicate that a woman is killed every three hours in South Africa.