A monstrous week for SA’s children

2014-06-08 15:00

It is a staggering irony that these past seven days have been marked as Child Protection Week.

Daily newspapers have been full of graphic tales of violence, abuse and neglect of children, and the coverage has been relentless.

The behaviour of some parents has been hard to read about. In a bail application this week, a court heard how a father from Springs allegedly raped and beat his wife, and tortured his children.

He would suspend his 11-year-old son with chains by his hands and feet to the ceiling of his home for days at a time. The boy had bruises of all colours and even his eyes bled from the beatings.

Details emerged of another monstrous father, this time from Alexandra, who had chained up his four children for up to eight years. Neighbours reported the matter to authorities but nothing was done.

Another story was of a teacher raping a 12-year-old pupil, a common occurrence in our country.

Besides these tales of gross personal violence, there have been others of more insidious abuse, indicative of the callous indifference many in our society display towards those in greatest need of our protection and care.

More details emerged this week of the baby who died outside Soweto’s Itireleng Clinic because the oxygen machine did not work. Then there was the story about the children of Sekhukhune, Limpopo.

Here, the feeding scheme is so dysfunctional that they are forced to survive on reduced rations, sometimes just a spoonful of cooked spinach. For many, it’s their only meal of the day.

Three babies died in Bloemhof. The water supply contained E.coli bacteria and the municipality didn’t care enough to fix a sewage pipe.

In a few decades, when we spend our twilight years in a society more savage and morally destitute than this one, we will have only ourselves to blame. Today’s children?–?tomorrow’s leaders?– deserve better than this.

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

24.com 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

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 24.com 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.