Lulu Xingwana calls for maximum sentence for child killers

2014-01-07 11:54

Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana has called for a maximum sentence if the Brakpan man accused of raping and killing his four-year-old niece was found guilty.

Xingwana had been scheduled to attend the man’s bail application at the Brakpan Magistrates’ Court today, but ran late.

Speaking to the media on her behalf, her spokesperson Motalatale Modiba said they supported the call of the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) for the 23-year-old man to be handed a life sentence if he was found guilty.

Xingwana was concerned that just days into the new year, several acts of violence against women and children had been reported.

In a statement, she said she noted the case of the two-year-old girl fighting for her life at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital after suffering severe injuries.

Her 20-year-old mother and 36-year-old boyfriend appeared in the Pretoria North Magistrates’ Court yesterday accused of attempted murder.

A newborn baby and its mother are in hospital in East London after the women’s boyfriend allegedly stabbed her in the stomach while she was still pregnant. The baby was delivered and was in a critical but stable condition.

In Limpopo last week, two girls were shot dead, allegedly by their father.

“There is something fundamentally wrong with our foundation as a society when women and children are made to live in terror even in their own homes,” Xingwana said.

“Domestic violence is a social evil that must be uprooted from our communities.”

The man implicated in the Brakpan girl’s murder appeared briefly in court today. His bail application was postponed to January 13 so he could apply for legal aid.

NDPP spokesperson Mxolisi Nxasana said they were confident of their case against the accused.

“It’s a watertight case and we are certain that we will make a conviction.”

He said it was unfortunate to have started the year on such a “bad note”, and they supported severe punishment for the perpetrator.

Police arrested the man after the girl was reported missing on Saturday, December 28.

“A missing person’s report was issued on Saturday morning and the police and the community started looking [for the girl]. We had to do our own investigation,” police spokesperson Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng said at the time.

Police then interviewed the family.

“We identified that one of the family members did not give a confident story ... he gave many versions.”

Mofokeng said the man was charged with kidnapping. Later “he gave in and confessed” and helped police find the girl’s body underneath a bed in her father’s flat, on Voortrekker Street, later that day.

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