“Three children a day are murdered in South Africa,” the Director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, Professor Shanaaz Mathews told reporters in an interview this week. He mentioned the difference between actual discipline and abuse. He referred to the brutal death of a Cape Town toddler who died from head injuries caused by the father bashing his head because the child had a soiled nappy.
The past week several murders were reported, and this has highlighted the need for a more secure protection act for children. The Children’s Institute based at the University of Cape Town is leaders in child policy research and advocacy in South Africa will play a vital role and facilitate policy makers in determining the best protection for the children of this country.
On Tuesday, this week, two baby girls were found dead, and their mother barely alive who was taken to hospital. It is assumed that they are immigrants from neighboring countries who lived in a derelict abandoned house on the East Rand. The mother is under police protection and could be charged with the murder of the two children as there are conflicting reports with her version of the truth. It is suspected that they had died of food poisoning. An investigation into the cause of death will continue.
Newborn twin babies were found abandoned in a basket near Muldersdrift, north of Johannesburg, on Saturday. Patrolling officers found the babies and rushed them to a hospital. It was discovered that one of the babies had died, and the surviving one remains in a critical condition. A murder document has been opened, and an investigation will follow.
Saturday, the body of a baby, wrapped in plastic was discovered floating down a stream in Diepsloot, a township between Johannesburg and Pretoria. The age of the child is unknown, and no further details have been reported by the investigating officer. This follows the gruesome kidnapping, mutilation rape and murder of two children who were discovered by a communal member on Monday.
Diepsloot, a densely populated settlement in the north of Johannesburg, consists of government-subsidized housing, and shacks. The shacks are built on any open piece of land and assembled with scrap metal, wood or plastic. Basic services are scarce and running water, sewage and garbage removal are not available to all residents. Most roads are not tarred. Living conditions remain a persistent problem in that township and most of the residents are unemployed.
On Saturday October 12, the mother’s of 2-year-old Yonelisa Mali and her cousin Zandili Mali aged three reported these youngsters as missing to the local police station. Diepsloot, a township and a place where overcrowding of locals and immigrants remains a nightmare, share some common toilets. It was on Monday that a resident discovered the two bloodied bodies of the missing children in one of these filthy toilets. Immediately the police were notified, and the crime area was closed to the inquisitive eyes of residents and media.
This horrific event revealed the rape and murder of two innocent girls. It was later discovered that five men were involved in this horrific crime. The police arrested four of the suspects who have been revealed as foreigners, and the fifth one was arrested toward the end of the week. All suspects remain in police custody.
The residents of Diepsloot are angry and wanted the police to release the men into the community, as they wanted to avenge the senseless murder and burn the perpetrators. This sparked violence that is further heated, and when the founder of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) political party arrived in Diepsloot, clashes between this party and the ruling ANC party emerged. A heavy police presence remains dominant within that community.
Written by Laura Oneale