Husband accused of killing former Bayview woman

Nisha Ravikumarie Wentzel was described as a caring and loving person.

Following the brutal murder of former Bayview resident, Nisha Ravikumarie Wentzel, who is believed to have suffered years of physical abuse before she was allegedly killed by her husband in their Mpumalanga home, a local crime activist is campaigning to warn society against Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS).

According to Dawn Gounden, BWS is a mental disorder that develops in victims of domestic violence as a result of serious, long-term abuse.

“It is dangerous because it can lead to one being helpless or even psychological paralysis. This results in the victim becoming depressed, defeated, and passive and she believes she is incapable of leaving the abusive situation. It may be from fear or the fact that the victim is emotionally dependent on the abuser, most likely her spouse or one that she’s in relationship with,” she said.

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Speaking to journalists, Wentzel’s distraught mother, Rose Henry, of Crossmoor said she hopes that other women will not become victims of BWS.

She described her only daughter, who was 34 at the time of her death, as a humble, loving and forgiving person and believed that if her daughter had left her abusive marriage, she would still be alive.

“My daughter was married to her husband for 13 years. She fought cancer three times but failed to fight off her attacker. I would never wish this upon any woman and encourage ladies, who are in abusive relationships to walk out as soon as possible. Procrastinating could lead to death,” said the tearful mother.

Gounden further explained, “Intensity of domestic violence escalates when the abused person decides to leave the relationship. I believe it’s about power and control and abusers may try to escalate their power and control tactics to force the woman to stay, if there’s a history of violence in the marriage or union. It’s also known that the most dangerous time of a woman’s life is when she tries to leave. Prior to this, he believes she’s controllable and controlled, and that he can continue to try and control her through abuse. This is one of the reasons that women die violently at the hands of their partner.”

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Communications officer of Mpumalanga SAPS, Brig Leonard Hlathi said a case of murder is being investigated.  “The victim was suspected to have committed suicide when her body was discovered and tablets were scattered all over her bedroom.”

He added, “Post-mortem results revealed that she had not consumed any tablets and that she was severely beaten as she had a fractured skull and ribs and signs of strangulation and these injuries led to her death. Her husband, Shane Wentzel was remanded in custody following a bail application hearing on December 15. The case was postponed to December 28, 2017 at the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court where bail was denied. He re-appeared in court on Tuesday, January 2.”

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Bianca Lalbahadur

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