215 children killed in Western Cape over 14-month period

Silhouette of children playing in the a park. Picture: African News Agency(ANA)

Silhouette of children playing in the a park. Picture: African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jul 14, 2021


Cape Town - A total of 215 children were killed in the Western Cape from January 1 2020 to March 31 this year, based on figures recorded by the police at stations across the province.

Kraaifontein police station reported the most killings, with 23 children suffering violent deaths. Delft police station reported 13 killings.

Philippi East, Khayelitsha and Nyanga were the only other police stations to report more than 10 child killings each, with 12, 11 and 10 killings reported respectively.

The police stations with the lowest numbers of reported killings include Klapmuts, Hout Bay, Wellington, Macassar, Table View and Thembalethu, all of which reported one child killing each.

The figures were revealed by Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz in a written answer to ANC provincial social development spokesperson Gladys Bakubaku-Vos, who had asked for the number of children killed in the province during the period, and in which areas of the province these killings had taken place.

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz File picture by: Ayanda Ndamane/ANA Pictures

Fritz said: "The figures are deeply upsetting. It is exactly these kinds of figures which drive us in the Western Cape government to ensure that we succeed in reducing violence and crime in our society through our provincial safety plan.

“We are pushing forward with the deployment of 500 Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (Leap) officers in our communities in the coming months, and we are also running a number of violence prevention initiatives.”

Fritz said the province would establish even more violence prevention initiatives in an effort to create a safe society for all children to grow up in.

Bakubaku-Vos said the provincial government’s programmes to ensure child safety in the Western Cape were not enough to end the carnage.

“The departments of Community Safety and Social Development should form a partnership to respond to the question of child killings.

“This is part of the reason why parents not so long ago called on the premier to establish a commission of inquiry into child killings.

“It is also why we fought hard for the establishment of the office of Children's Commissioner. We urge Commissioner Christina Nomdo to hold the provincial government to account for the continued rise in numbers of child killings in the province.

Nomdo said childhoods in South Africa were characterised by violence, and that it was deplorable that child murders occurred regularly.

“It is not enough to know where children died. We must know how they died. We must know how we could have prevented these deaths.

“We need to turn the tide on violence. We need to make sure childhoods are safer. We must start by making children’s homes and communities safe spaces for them to play, live and thrive,” she said.

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Cape Argus