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Write for Rights: Popi Qwabe and Bongeka Phungula | Amnesty USA



In May 2017, Popi Qwabe and Bongeka Phungula were heading out for a drink in Johannesburg, South Africa. At some point that evening, the pair hailed a minibus taxi. They were not heard from again. Popi and Bongeka had been shot dead and dumped by the side of the road. They may also have been raped. According to the families, the police failed to properly investigate the murders. A taxi containing the women’s bloodstains and belongings was found. While the blood was apparently analysed, the forensic department never released the results. The families say the police did not check for fingerprints and that the phones belonging to the two girls were never traced. Two taxi operators were arrested. They had some of the women’s belongings, including a cellphone and lipstick, which they claimed they found in the taxi. But the police released the men citing lack of evidence and the case was withdrawn pending further investigation. In the three years since the murder, no thorough investigation has taken place.

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