United call for justice

Kuhle Mpanya, Zamokuhle Mkosana, Nasiphiwo Gam and Siyamthanda Mkosana from Westlake protested at the Wynberg Magistrate's Court last week.

Westlake Village residents protested outside the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court last week opposing bail for a man accused of stabbing his wife to death.

Mzuvukile Poni appeared in court for the first time on Thursday January 26. He is charged with the murder of Vuniseka Poni, 32, mother of three children aged 14 months, 6 and 12.

It’s alleged that Ms Poni ran to a friend’s house seeking refuge after a row with her husband on Monday morning January 2, but he had chased her and killed her with a knife.

The residents, including Women of Westlake (WOW), said they did not want the accused to get bail.

Kirstenhof Community Police Forum (CPF) secretary and WOW member Anthea Thebus said the Ponis had been getting divorced and Ms Poni had secured a court interdict against her husband.

Kirstenhof police spokeswoman Sergeant Deidre Solomon confirmed Mr Poni had been arrested and charged with his estranged wife’s murder.

The couple had allegedly argued at their house and Ms Poni had run up the road to a friend’s house but her husband had chased her.

He had followed her upstairs to a bedroom where he had allegedly stabbed her several times. Ms Poni died on the scene. Kirstenhof Community Police Forum (CPF) chairman Tony Jantjies said the community had signed a petition opposing bail for Mr Poni and shunning him from the neighbourhood.

Mr Jantjies claimed Kirstenhof police had received more than 70 domestic violence call-outs for Westlake Village in the past three months. Kirstenhof police station commander June Cilliers said she could not confirm that figure as she was not allowed to release statistics, but she conceded “these are serious incidents and the figure is high”.

Mr Jantjies said the CPF and Chrysalis Academy had started an awareness drive last year to advise women and children what steps to take if they were threatened by domestic violence.

Sergeant Solomon said the court had opposed bail for Mr Poni and he was remanded in custody at Pollsmoor Prison until his next court date on Tuesday Feburary 14.Victims of domestic violence can get counselling at the Drill Hall in Westlake. Volunteers are on call 24 / 7 and can be called at 021 712 6699.