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Johannesburg -Diepsloot residents must support the family of the two toddlers murdered earlier this week, Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Friday.
“This is something that must never happen to anybody's child,” she said outside the family's home in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg.
The bodies of two-year-old Yonelisa Mali and her cousin Zandile Mali, three, were found on Tuesday. They were reported missing at the weekend.
Four men appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Friday on charges of rape and murder. The case was postponed to Thursday for the men to apply for Legal Aid.
A fifth man, who was arrested early Friday morning in Alexandra, would appear in the court on Monday.
The girls' funeral would be held on Saturday. Mokonyane said the family should be given time to grieve the loss and find closure.
“Let us use tomorrow's funeral service to pray and ask for divine intervention,” she said.
Diepsloot resident John Manthusi, 33, said the solution to crime in the area would be the completion of a local police station which had been under construction.
“There must be police visibility around the area,” he said.
Earlier, residents gathered outside the police station to protest about the murders. They demanded that police release the fifth man so they could burn him.
Police were in the area as Economic Freedom Fighters supporters and African National Congress supporters clashed. EFF supporters accused ANC supporters of beating them.
Residents supporting the EFF stood outside the Diepsloot police station, but were not allowed in. They complained about being shut out, and said the police were supposed to provide a place of safety.
Residents refused to speak to the media. However, an EFF supporter said he planned to open a case with the police.
ANC Youth League members marched to the police station to hand over a memorandum.
“We raised a lot of grievances that we have as a community here in Diepsloot on issues of crime and drugs,” ANCYL national task team co-ordinator Mzwandile Masina said after handing over the memorandum.
“Now we want to work with the community to ensure there's peace in the area. We want visible policing at all times.”
EFF supporters wearing red berets sang songs mocking President Jacob Zuma.
“If you are a person who is voting for Zuma you are not to be trusted,” they sang in Sesotho. Some residents ripped up ANC placards.
Others started banging on a car when they saw a person in an ANC T-shirt inside. Police intervened.