Justice ministry calls for probe after murders of mom and daughter, 7
The public protector has been asked to investigate claims that a Cape Town woman who was murdered with her seven-year-old daughter tried to get a protection order against her alleged killer but was turned away by a court.
Altecia Kortje, 27, who was murdered with her daughter Raynecia in Belhar on June 12, reportedly went to the Bellville magistrate's court for a protection order a week earlier but was turned away, deputy justice minister John Jeffery said on Thursday.
"We view these claims in a very serious light – all the more so given the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide in our country – and have therefore referred the matter to the office of the public protector for an investigation," he said.
"We are of the view that an investigation by the office of the public protector is necessary to establish whether Ms Kortje approached the court for assistance and, if so, why she was not assisted and whether there has been any act or omission by a person in the employ of government or performing a public function which had resulted in any unlawful or improper prejudice to Ms Kortje and her daughter.
"If Altecia was indeed turned away, there will be grave consequences, as Altecia should have been assisted. No one who seeks help should ever be turned away. We therefore need the public protector to investigate what happened at court on that morning."
Protesters gathered outside the court on Monday for the appearance of Ryan Smith, 28, said Kortje feared for her life in the week before she was stabbed to death and had asked various state institutions for protection.
Smith was remanded in custody until Monday.
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