The IFP welcomes the sentencing by the Vryheid Regional Court of two men convicted of murdering Ms Thandazile Mpunzi, who was 20 years old. IFP spokesperson on matters related to the Department of Women, the Hon. Ms Liezl van der Merwe MP, called the sentencing, “appropriate”.

“We would have liked to see a life sentence of 25 years being imposed,” said van der Merwe, “But 20 years at least sees Thandazile’s killers forfeiting their freedom for the same number of years that she lived. That feels appropriate.”

Van der Merwe urged however that the two not be given early parole, which would defeat the justice meted out by the court. “This was a premeditated murder. Thandazile was targeted purely because of albinism. The baseless superstitions that still persist in our communities about persons with albinism must be challenged. We have a duty to protect all our people from discrimination and violence.”

Van der Merwe added that albinism is still profoundly misunderstood, socially and medically. “This leads to various forms of stigma and discrimination. There is a greater need for awareness and education about albinism.”

The IFP extends it condolences once again to the family of Ms Mpunzi, recognising that the brutality of her murder will be difficult for her loved one’s to come to terms with. “For the sake of Thandazile’s family, and the families of all victims like her, the IFP will continue to speak up for persons with albinism,” said van der Merwe.