Baby attack: Premier pressures cops

2010-04-23 19:05

Johannesburg - Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane was devastated by the news of the attack on a year-old child and her helper, her spokesperson said on Friday.

"She has interacted with police and impressed on them that they need to prioritise it to ensure that those perpetrators are brought to book as soon as possible," Dumisani Zulu said.

The child and her helper are in hospital after the child's mother, identified by Beeld as Madelein Kruger, ran out of her house screaming on arriving home from work, carrying her bleeding daughter.

Their helper Francina Sekhu, was found tied up in the house, and also injured.

Pressure on law enforcement

"The premier thinks it says something about our society. It says a lot about how low we have gone in terms of our humanity."

"She is going to put pressure on all the law enforcement agencies to ensure that the people who committed this heinous matter are dealt with," Zulu said.

Mokonyane wanted to clear her diary and visit the family, but decided against it when it became evident that they needed privacy.

"Let's allow them to deal with the trauma. Let's allow them to internalise and deal with this issue in a manner that suits them."

The visit would be postponed to a later date, he said.

Earlier, the toddler's family said they were grateful for the messages of support they were receiving.

"People have been phoning and the family do really appreciate it. They appreciate all the prayers and good wishes," Sandton Medi-Clinic spokesperson Liezel Furlong said.

Following a meeting with hospital staff, the girl's parents opted not to speak to the media as their little girl received treatment for a head injury.

But they gave the hospital permission to say their child was in a serious but stable condition.

Medium risk area

Furlong said the family also requested that flowers not be sent for the girl, as these were not allowed in the intensive care unit where she was being treated.

Earlier, an official at Helen Joseph hospital, where helper Sekhu was being cared for, said she was "okay" but, in line with healthcare privacy policies, would not further discuss her condition.

Police spokesperson Colonel Eugene Opperman said Sekhu was also "serious but stable".

The investigation was continuing on Friday afternoon. A laptop and modem were reportedly stolen.

The attack shocked the community of Robin Hills, declared a medium risk area by FIFA, said Linden community policing forum chairperson Jadd Harding.

The forum, which covers that area, had offered its assistance to the police and this would include victim support.

"I've had a couple of phone calls from people who are shocked and want to know what is happening," Harding said.