Murder by a partner is at an all-time high in South Africa

Vicky Ntozini was killed by her husband in November 2012. Credit: ITV On Assignment

Vicky was something of a visionary.

Hers was a one-woman mission to open to tourism one of the toughest places in South Africa.

And unlikely as it might sound, she was succeeding.

"Vicky's Bed and Breakfast'', set in the impoverished township of Khayelitsha, welcomed visitors from around the world. The kind of people who would visit Table Mountain, or tour Robben Island, but never in a million years dare to stray into the sprawling, crime ridden streets close to Cape Town, let alone stay the night there.

Khayelisha is one of the toughest townships in South Africa. Credit: Paul Martin/ConflictZones.tv

"We are a very friendly nation,'' Vicky insisted in an interview recorded in 2010, the year South Africa hosted the World Cup and her hotel welcomed visiting England fans.

"We are able to share whatever we have, how bad, how good, with other people.''

'Vicky's Bed and Breakfast' came to prominence when South Africa hosted the World Cup. Credit: Paul Martin/ConflictZones.tv

But Vicky's dream died, brutally, in November 2012.

In the early hours of one Wednesday morning, she was stabbed to death in her own bedroom; a victim her family believe of her own success.

Earlier this year, her husband was convicted of her killing. He has never explained why he did it. But envy of his wife's achievements seems the likeliest motive, according to the traumatised family.

Vicky's husband was convicted of her killing earlier this year Credit: Paul Martin/ConflictZones.tv

To complete the nightmare, the couple's children were the chief witnesses.

Their young son, Ntsika, calmly recounts the horror: "I saw my father stabbing my mother, so I took the blanket and put it over my head.

"It was unbelievable, because I thought my father was a good man, and wouldn't do that.''

Vicky's murder left a void in so many lives, but beyond her neighbourhood, it was barely noticed at all.

Vicky's daughter Thandile said her mother 'helped people where she could'. Credit: Paul Martin/ConflictZones.tv

That's because a truly shocking part of Vicky’s story is that in South Africa the murder of a woman by her husband or partner isn't shocking at all. It's routine.

An inspiration to thousands in life, in death Vicky became just another grim statistic.

One in four men admit to having raped a woman.

Refuges for women are rare. The Saartjie Baartman Centre, not far from Vicky's home, is one such place. It's surrounded by high fences and barbed wire, to keep angry men out.

"We're sitting in a country where we see stats of only three percent of perpetrators being convicted, something is very wrong with that picture", says director Shaheema McCleod.

South Africa has some of the toughest laws on domestic abuse in the world.

But making them stick is one of the toughest jobs.

The problem is buried deep in a South Africa culture, says Sergeant Bernice Roberts, who leads a specialist domestic violence unit of Khayelisha police that deals with twenty or thirty cases of domestic violence every week.

"A wife has to be submissive to her husband. That's the norm of how things have been for many years", she tells me.

"To try to change people's perceptions or views on that is very difficult.''

In the meantime, one set of perceptions has changed, dramatically but not for the good.

Vicky's oldest daughter, Malandi, tells me she no longer trusts men.

"I will never get married,'' she says. "I don't know if I could happen to me and I would be the one dying, leaving my children alone.''

In association with Paul Martin and ConflictZones.tv