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Lusa (File phto) / Graça Machel
Mozambican social activist Graça Machel says the failure to report crimes of domestic violence protects the perpetrators of this type of crime, and she condemns the leniency of sentencing under Mozambican law, according to the press.
“To hide domestic violence is to let the aggressor prosper hypocritically as a good man,” Machel told a select press conference called by her family on Tuesday after Rofino Licuco was given a suspended sentence for the assault in October of 2015 of her daughter, Josina Machel, leaving her blind in one eye.
Graça Machel, the widow of the first Mozambican president, Samora Machel, stressed the need for victims of domestic violence to overcome shame and denouncing their ill-treatment.
“I am very pleased that my daughter has overcome the taboo of shame, as she herself said, because the reason people do not talk is that they are ashamed,” Machel said.
The activist, who was Mozambique’s first education minister after independence in 1975, criticized the levity of the three-year and four-month suspended sentence handed down to her daughter’s ex-boyfriend was as an incentive to impunity.
“I am pleased that Mr. Licuco has been convicted, but I am not satisfied with the suspension of the sentence, because it sends the message that it is possible to subject someone to violence and remain free,” Machel added.
Machel also said that the fact that the court had ruled that the suspension of the sentence would only be lifted if the defendant did not pay the compensation ordered reflected an idea that the lives of the victims had a price.
The Maputo Judicial Court sentenced Mozambican businessman Rofino Licuco to a suspended 40 months prison term for the assault on Josina Machel, along with 200 million meticais (EUR 2.7 million) for non-patrimonial damages and of another 579,000 thousand meticais (EUR 7,800) compensation for property damage.
In a case that the court found to be one of domestic violence, the court ordered the accused to pay the compensation to the victim within 30 days, failing which he would be immediately taken to jail.
The court ruled that 41-year-old Josina Machel had lost her sight as a result of an assault by Rofino Licuco, 39, her boyfriend at the time, on one of the avenues in the center of the Mozambican capital as they were leaving a restaurant in October 2015.
Josina Machel is the eldest of two children that Samora Machel, the first Mozambican president, had with Graça Machel, a Mozambican social activist who later married South African leader Nelson Mandela.
Shortly after the Machel case, the Mozambican political elite was shaken by the December 2002 killing of Valentina Guebuza, daughter of former Mozambican president Armando Guebuza, by her husband Zófimo Muiuane, at the couple’s home in Maputo.
The cases of domestic violence related to two of Mozambique’s most influential families are seen as mirroring the frequency of this type of crime in the country.Source: Lusa
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