The brutal killing of children in South Africa remains a huge concern. Statistics by the South African Police Service (SAPS) show that more than 500 children were murdered between April and September this year.
As the country observes 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, children’s rights groups in the Northern Cape are calling for harsher punishment for child murderers. They say the ruthless murder of children is a threat to the country’s future.
Anastacia Gedene knows the pain of losing a child to violence. Her three-year-old son, Buti Gedene, went missing in June. His body was found three weeks later, dumped in a quarry near their home. Anastacia is still struggling to come to terms with his death.
“I miss my son. It really hurts because he was still very young. I ask myself daily why this happen to my child. It’s painful.”
Another mother who is still grieving is Shariema Segami. Her daughter, Relebogile Segami, went missing in April. She was found a day later in the veld, she had been raped and killed. Shariema says she is not coping.
“As I am still on treatment, I don’t think I will ever get better because my child will never come back to me. Every time when I close my eyes, I can just imagine how she was screaming looking for help and there was no help.”
Kimberley family of murdered 11-year-old girl demand justice:
Organisations fighting against the abuse of women and children in the Northern Cape say brutal crimes against children cannot continue unchallenged. Founder of Hebziba Counselling and Healing Centre, Charmain Ramasedi explains:
“We need to prioritise our strategies and also let the lip service end and rather have our focus on action and results. We are dealing with broken families. After the child has been raped and killed, you are sitting with a damaged family and hence the focus needs to be on psycho-social services.”
Shariema is comforted by the fact that her daughter’s alleged murderer remains behind bars after he was denied bail. Anastacia on the other hand, is still hoping for answers on who killed her son and why.
DISCUSSION | Calls for protection of children as assaults and killing increase: