Courtney Pieters' mourning mother. Picture: Phando Jikelo/ANA Pictures
Courtney Pieters' mourning mother. Picture: Phando Jikelo/ANA Pictures

Child murders: ANC seeks interdict to establish child commissioner

By Rusana Philander Time of article published Aug 3, 2017

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CAPE TOWN - The ANC in the province is to seek a court interdict to force Western Cape Premier Helen Zille to appoint a commissioner for children.

The provincial ANC made this announcement at a press conference on Wednesday. This comes after the 25th child killed in the Western Cape since January, five-year-old Kaithlyn Wilson from Riebeek West, was murdered a few days ago.

Civil society and NGOs have called for an inquiry into child killings in the Western Cape.

Zille has said a commission of inquiry into child killings would be too expensive and suggested that NGOs conduct their own research into the matter.

ANC MPL Maurentia Gillion argued that the DA-led provincial government had already held a commission of inquiry into the police. “It cost money and still we do not know, what the recommendations of the commission were,” Gillion said.

The ANC said it had appointed a lawyer to seek a court interdict to force the premier to appoint a children’s commissioner.

ANC provincial secretary Faiz Jacobs said: “We need a responsive and caring government in the Western Cape and we require an urgent response, to this scourge of child murders.

"The premier has failed for the last eight years to meet her constitutional obligation. We have acquired the services of of a senior counsel who will interdict the Premier of the Western Cape to, in line with Section 78 of the Western Cape constitution, appoint the provincial commissioner for children.

"This commissioner, according to the Western Cape constitution, must assist the Western Cape government in protecting and promoting the interest of children in the province.

“It is now abundantly clear that the premier has no interest in appointing this much-needed commissioner for children. Premier Zille promised to appoint a children’s commissioner in 2009 when she was elected.

"She broke that promise. In 2015 she introduced a bill seeking to make the appointment of the commissioner discretionary, meaning that she can decide if she wants to appoint a commissioner.

“The ANC agrees with the call by organisations that work in the child protection sectors for the appointment of a commission of inquiry into child murders in the Western Cape. To understand the real reasons why the children in the Western Cape are more vulnerable, investigate government shortcomings and explore concrete ways to enhance their protection."

Gillion added that they wanted MEC Albert Fritz and Zille to urgently discuss the child killings. Gillian said: "They can’t play politics with the safety of children. That is why a children’s commissioner is so important.

"Why are they just reacting to child killings. There is no political will from the premier to start an inquiry into child killings.”

READ MORE: ‘Zille has no political will for inquiry’

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Cape Argus

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