Death of Diepsloot baby shocks community

2013-11-11 19:30
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The family of Diepsloot toddlers Yonelisa and Zandile Mali killed last month have expressed shock over the death of a baby in the same area.

"We are surprised about [the child's death] because we thought all this was over when they arrested that man but it's still continuing," the toddlers' grandmother Vinah Mali said in Xhosa on Monday.

The 7-month-old baby's mutilated body was found in a shack in the area, north of Johannesburg, on Sunday.

The baby's mother reported the death to the police early on Sunday morning, claiming rats attacked her child. When police arrived on the scene, the woman had disappeared. Pathology tests apparently confirmed that rats attacked the child.

But, police spokesperson Tsekiso Mofokeng said a case of murder was being investigated.

"We have registered a case of murder, but initially it was an inquest," Mofokeng said.

Police arrived to find the baby's body with a foot missing.

"Further investigations informed police that [the foot] was bitten off by rats."

Police were still awaiting the results of the post mortem to definitively determine the cause of death.

Mofokeng said the baby's mother was missing and had still not been located by Monday morning, contrary to media reports.

Prayer day

Mali said the prayer day organised for the people of Diepsloot helped the family.

"We feel better. At first we were not at peace but since we got the prayers we feel better. Our spirits are still low because there are fewer of us in the house," she said.

Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana urged the religious leaders present at the Methodist Church to pray for the country.

"We all know that this scourge is traversing the entire country. There is not one province that has been saved," she said.

"We need divine intervention in our country to ensure that we exorcise the devil, whether it is in the form of drugs, rape against women and children, or bullying.

"Nobody has the right to violate those innocent angels," she said, looking at the children accompanying the Mali and Mkondo families.

In September, 5-year-old girl Anelisa Mkondo was found dead in the same area.

Yonelisa and Zandile Mali, aged two and three, were found dead in a toilet cubicle in Diepsloot's extension one in October.

"In the past few weeks we've seen children being abused, poisoned, neglected, murdered, raped, trafficked, and used for pornography. Something, somewhere has gone wrong in the fabric of society."

Communities’ responsibility

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau said it was up to people to take responsibility for what happened and to hold public servants accountable if they failed to do their jobs.

"We have the responsibility in our communities to stand up and say 'What can I do to make my community better?' The ghastly experiences are a reflection on us as a people... who kill their children. A people who rape and murder their children, who do not care about the value of the lives of our women and children," Tau said.

He urged people to work together with law enforcement agencies and government in targeting crime and known criminals in their areas.

Religious leaders joined Xingwana and Tau on Monday to pray for Diepsloot.

Following the murder of the Mali cousins, Diepsloot residents stoned cars and burnt tyres in the street outside the local police station in protest.

A 29-year-old man faces charges of murder, rape, and kidnapping in connection with the cousins' deaths.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Medupi Simasiku said police were still investigating Mkondo's case.

Read more on:    npa  |  lulu xingwana  |  parks tau  |  johannesburg

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.