Claims of Courtney search neglect exaggerated - Zuma

2017-05-30 17:32
President Jacob Zuma has addressed the community of Elsie's River. (Zukile Daniel, News24)

President Jacob Zuma has addressed the community of Elsie's River. (Zukile Daniel, News24)

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Cape Town - Claims that the police dragged their heels in the search for murdered Courtney Pieters were exaggerated, President Jacob Zuma said as he revisited Elsies River on Tuesday.

He said that he dropped in on the Elsies River police station before his meeting with the community on Tuesday and was told that these complaints by the community were investigated.

He also spoke to Pieters' mother Juanita and she said was happy with the way the police handled the case.

Blood that was found in the house was also analysed and found not to be human blood, Zuma said.

He said he was drawn to the area after hearing what had happened to 3-year-old Pieters.

Zuma was shocked to hear from her father that every little bone in her body had been broken.

READ: South Africa: A country where women and children end up as grim stats

Shocked

Pieters disappeared on May 4 from near her home in Elsies River and was found dead in a shallow grave on May 13. She had been raped twice.

Mortimer Saunders, who stayed with her family, has been arrested.

Zuma said he could not understand how people who are so close to children could do such horrendous things to them.

The death of a child was terrible, continued Zuma, but the murder of a child was the worst thing a parent could experience.

''It leaves a mark, a wound, a scar that will remain forever with the parent.''

He slammed the murders of women, and said he was shocked again to find that boyfriends and people known to them were implicated.

''My feeling is that the crime in the country has gone very high. We can't live side by side with crime,'' said Zuma.

He noted that the country was marking Child Protection Week.

Zuma spoke days after a weekend of speculation that he might be kicked out as president following reported claims of emails proving that his son Duduzane's business partners in Oakbay Investments had a hand in ministerial appointments.

At the party's National Executive Committee meeting of the past weekend, it was proposed that Zuma leave as president, but he survived the call.

Zuma said that one of the topics at the NEC was to get communities involved in preventing crime.

He called on communities to set up their own street committees and village committees to keep each other safe.

A Khoi San chief thanked Zuma for coming through to Elsie's River, and for the mobile police van Police Minister Fikile Mbalula arranged last week.

Other speakers did not let the row of government ministers off lightly though.

Among them were Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Mbalula and his deputy Bongani Mkongi and Deputy Sports Minister Gert Van der Merwe.

Deputy Community Policing Forum chairperson Imraahn Mukkaddam said: ''Mr President, we don't need more police, we need more social workers.''

Read more on:    courtney pieters  |  jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  crime

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