MEC Fritz & Community Safety mourns the death of colleague, Jacqueline Mpontsana
Today, along with the Department of Community Safety and the broader Western Cape Government, Minister Albert Fritz mourns the death of Jacquelene Mpontsana.
Ms Mpontsana, or Jacque as she was fondly known, was set alight in a domestic violence dispute on Sunday, 19 September 2021. She was initially rushed to hospital, and family, friends and colleagues had hoped that she would recover from severe injuries. Unfortunately, she succame to her injuries on Monday afternoon.
Minister Fritz said, “our staff and I have really been shaken by this terrible news. What makes her passing especially tragic is that her work entailed inspecting SAPS stations for their compliance to assist victims of domestic and gender-based violence. It is incredibly upsetting. But we have to go on. We cannot surrender in the face of this scourge. We have to keep fighting, for Jacque, and for every other victim like her.”
Jacque was first appointed in the Department of Community Safety in 2005 and had since then performed a number of different roles. She worked in the section in the Department which dealt with complaints against the SAPS, fulfilling the functions of secretary for both the Domestic Violence Compliance Forum and the IPID Consultative Forum. Over the years, Jacque had become one of the most experienced staff members in monitoring SAPS on compliance in terms of the Domestic Violence Act.
Her most recent manager, Werner Bezuidenhout, said “it is for the directorate and me an absolute tragedy that Jacque was allegedly killed by her partner in an act of extreme domestic violence. She was an invaluable member of our team, and she will be sorely missed.”
Minister Fritz continued, “the HOD and I will meet with Jacque’s family later today to sympathise. We are also arranging a departmental memorial service for her. We have lost one of our own. We are deeply affected by this. While we appreciate some measure of media attention being drawn to Jacque’s life and passing, we also appeal to members of the media to not go too far; to please respect the privacy of Jacque’s family and friends at this time.”
The Head of Department, Yashina Pillay, said “it is with great sadness that we as a department are working through the news of Jacque’s passing. As we work through coming to terms with this immense loss, we are comforted by many happy memories that we have of her.”
Minister Fritz concluded, “Jacque offered her professional career in service of members of domestic and gender-based violence, and in her honour, we are going to ensure that the perpetrator of this egregious act of cowardice is brought to justice. We have to keep moving forward; we have to keep fighting these cowards who are killing our women and children, and we will not rest until our women and children live in a safe environment, free of domestic and gender-based violence.”
The family has requested that the media refrain from contacting them during this difficult time. All media queries may be directed to Wade Seale in the Office of the Minister, at the contact details below.