Commissioner’s massive task

2020-03-05 06:03

The latest cases of child murders in the Western Cape have renewed calls to appoint a Children’s Commissioner. The commissioner will be a first for the country. Interviews with 13 shortlisted nominees were held over three days at the end of February. The provincial legislature received 59 nominations which were whittled down to 15 by the department of social development. However, two candidates withdrew.

Gillion Bosman, chair of the standing committee on social development in the provincial legislature, says: “The committee is looking at the experience of each candidate to see if they fulfil some of the functional competencies as outlined in the act. These include the ability to investigate, monitor, research, educate and advise.

“We also looked at their ability to manage an office. One of the key aspects we looked at was whether they are able to work with children and if children can relate to them.”

Bosman says the role of the commissioner is to assist the Western Cape government to protect and promote the rights of children.

February has been a heart-breaking month for two families whose children were murdered.

Tazné van Wyk (8) from Ravensmead was abducted and her body was discovered two weeks later in a stormwater pipe in Worcester. A neighbour, 54-year-old Moyhdian Pangkaeker has since appeared in court in connection with her kidnapping and murder.

The death of Van Wyk was still fresh in the minds of everyone when news broke that a seven-year-old Ocean View girl, Emaan Solomons was shot and killed in gang crossfire on Tuesday 25 February.

Bosman says the incumbent’s first task should be to look at the increase in child murders in the province.

He says now that interviews are done, the committee will finalise its report. “The report will then go to (provincial) parliament for adoption and will then be sent to the Premier for appointment,” explained Bosman.

Premier Alan Winde condemned the killing of the two girls. “We cannot for a moment give up fighting to make this province safer for everyone who lives in it, but especially for our most vulnerable.”

Bosman reiterated the premier’s sentiments: “I think it is useful to have an additional layer of protection when it comes to making sure that children’s rights are protected. The commissioner will act as an ombudsman to ensure that the rights of children are protected and will be able to take complaints from members of the public including children,” he says.

Winde indicated in his State of the province address, that budgetary provision was made to set up the commissioner’s office.

The exact date of when the candidate will be appointed has not yet been established. “I look forward to meeting with the new Children’s Commissioner as soon as they are appointed, to establish how we can best work together to ensure that children in this province are kept safe,” concluded Winde.

The latest cases of child murders in the Western Cape have renewed calls to appoint a Children’s Commissioner. The commissioner will be a first for the country. Interviews with 13 shortlisted nominees were held over three days at the end of February. The provincial legislature received 59 nominations which were whittled down to 15 by the department of social development. However, two candidates withdrew.

Gillion Bosman, chair of the standing committee on social development in the provincial legislature, says: “The committee is looking at the experience of each candidate to see if they fulfil some of the functional competencies as outlined in the act. These include the ability to investigate, monitor, research, educate and advise.

“We also looked at their ability to manage an office. One of the key aspects we looked at was whether they are able to work with children and if children can relate to them.”

Bosman says the role of the commissioner is to assist the Western Cape government to protect and promote the rights of children.

February has been a heart-breaking month for two families whose children were murdered.

Tazné van Wyk (8) from Ravensmead was abducted and her body was discovered two weeks later in a stormwater pipe in Worcester. A neighbour, 54-year-old Moyhdian Pangkaeker has since appeared in court in connection with her kidnapping and murder.

The death of Van Wyk was still fresh in the minds of everyone when news broke that a seven-year-old Ocean View girl, Emaan Solomons was shot and killed in gang crossfire on Tuesday 25 February.

Bosman says the incumbent’s first task should be to look at the increase in child murders in the province.

He says now that interviews are done, the committee will finalise its report. “The report will then go to (provincial) parliament for adoption and will then be sent to the Premier for appointment,” explained Bosman.

Premier Alan Winde condemned the killing of the two girls. “We cannot for a moment give up fighting to make this province safer for everyone who lives in it, but especially for our most vulnerable.”

Bosman reiterated the premier’s sentiments: “I think it is useful to have an additional layer of protection when it comes to making sure that children’s rights are protected. The commissioner will act as an ombudsman to ensure that the rights of children are protected and will be able to take complaints from members of the public including children,” he says.

Winde indicated in his State of the province address, that budgetary provision was made to set up the commissioner’s office.

The exact date of when the candidate will be appointed has not yet been established. “I look forward to meeting with the new Children’s Commissioner as soon as they are appointed, to establish how we can best work together to ensure that children in this province are kept safe,” concluded Winde.

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