Johannesburg - The people of Gauteng need to wage war on crime to better protect their children, premier David Makhura said on Monday.
“Crime is a big problem for us, our children are being killed,” he told residents of Reiger Park on the East Rand.
“They are caught in the crossfire. We must wage war on crime and gangsterism.”
Makhura was meeting the community of Reiger Park as part of government's Gauteng township economy revitalisation programme.
He said the only way the community could win the war against crime, which had recently led to the death of at least two children, was to be united.
Four-year-old Taegrin Morris was killed in a botched hijacking in Reiger Park last month. Hijackers who had just forced his family out of their vehicle drove off with him still hanging out of the car, trapped by his seat-belt.
The hijackers abandoned the car several kilometres away with the dead toddler inside.
Three-year-old Cuburne Lavone van Wyk disappeared on August 6 while playing outside with siblings. A partially burnt body of a child was found at a mine dump in the area and police were tying to establish if it was the toddler.
“We now have a case of Cuburne van Wyk here and in Westbury [Luke Tibbetts] another child passed on, again caught in the crossfire. This is a war we must win for the sake of our children and community. We must work together and be united,” said Makhura.
Earlier this month, a three-year-old boy died after being caught in the cross-fire during a shooting in Westbury, Johannesburg.
Luke Tibbetts had been on life support machines in hospital since the shooting on August 2. He died six days later.
Lindray Khakhu was arrested for allegedly shooting Tibbetts, while Keenan Mokwena, who was also shot and wounded in the incident, was arrested on Wednesday.
Both would appear in the Newlands Magistrate's Court in Sophiatown on August 12.
Makhura began his day by visiting the Van Wyk family.