United in horror at dragged boy’s death

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iol news pic dragged boy Taegrin Morris INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Taegrin Morris (4) was fatally dragged behind his parents' hijacked car for several kilometers. Picture: Timothy Bernard

Cae Town - The hijackers who dragged a four-year-old boy outside a car in Boksburg, east of Gauteng, must be arrested as a matter of urgency, the Parliamentary portfolio committee on police said on Monday.

“The death of this child and many others cannot be in vain. The perpetrators of this horrendous crime must be arrested as a matter of urgency,” chairman Francois Beukman said in a statement.

“As the committee, we want the (SA Police Service) to teach these criminals a lesson by apprehending them as soon as possible.”

Taegrin Morris was travelling in a VW Golf with his mother, father and sister in Reiger Park on Saturday night when the family was approached by three men.

“They ordered him (the father), his wife and daughter to get out of the vehicle,” Lt-Col Khensane Magoai said on Sunday.

“The four-year-old was left in his safety belt. They (the hijackers) got in the car and drove away.”

Magoai said it was unclear how it happened but the boy was then dragged along, hanging outside the car door by his safety belt.

“He was dragged along until Boksburg. The hijackers then abandoned the vehicle and the boy was dead.”

Reiger Park is about 8.5km from Boksburg.

Gauteng police said they were questioning a man who they hoped would help them with their investigation.

“The man is being questioned but he is not a suspect,” said Colonel Noxolo Kweza.

By 7.15pm on Monday no arrests had been made.

Kweza said the police hoped the man would be able to give them information which could help in their investigation.

She denied a report that a man linked to the hijacking had handed himself over.

Earlier, Gauteng premier David Makhura described the incident as a heartless act.

“This act was heartless. Dragging a small boy for 8km shows they could have been under the influence of drugs, as we know the community has a drug problem,” Makhura said.

He had visited the boy's family in Reiger Park.

Investigations into the boy's death would be stepped up, Makhura said.

Makhura planned on Monday afternoon to visit the family of another toddler who was involved in a hijacking.

Mongezi Phike went missing after the car he was travelling in with his father was hijacked in Bronkhorstspruit on Tuesday.

The hijackers fled with the car and the boy inside.

The boy was found at a shelter in central Johannesburg.

“The boy was taken to the shelter after he was found wandering in the streets of Johannesburg,” said Captain Sarah Mcira.

It was not clear who took him to the shelter. She said the boy was reunited with his family on Monday morning after they had identified him.

Mcira said police were still looking for the hijackers.

The Freedom Front Plus said it was heartening that Phike's story was not just another statistic in the newspapers on Monday.

“In this instance we can be grateful along with his family. But regarding Taegrin Morris, it is something which should never have happened,” FF Plus spokesman Anton Alberts said in a statement.

He said the dragging incident showed that crime in South Africa was out of control, despite this being denied by the ANC-led government.

He called for the re-introduction of the death penalty to be seriously considered for individuals who committed crimes that were accompanied by such cruelty.

Alberts sent his condolences to the Morris family.

ANC Women's League spokeswoman Khusela Sangoni said the organisation was outraged at the levels of violence against women and children that persisted in South Africa.

"The ANCWL urges South Africans to co-operate with law enforcement authorities by providing information that may lead to the apprehension of suspects in both cases."

ANCWL called on police to arrest the perpetrators quickly.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Morris family during this difficult time."

Sapa



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