Heinz Park residents picketed outside the Wynberg Magistrate's Court yesterday. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – As the extent of crimes against women and children came under the spotlight when police released the annual crime statistics in Parliament yesterday, angry Heinz Park residents protested outside the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court demanding justice for the rape and murder of 14-year-old Janika Mallo. According to

According to police, a total of 179 683 crimes against women and 45 229 against children were reported in the 2018-19 financial near.

Braving the wet weather, residents came out to support Janika’s family, as her accused rapists and killers, a minor and an 18-year-old man, appeared in court. The teenagers, also from the same area, made their second appearance in a closed court to protect the minor implicated.

The teenagers made their first appearance last Thursday after being arrested by Samora Machel police following the gruesome discovery of Janika’s half-naked body in her grandmother Pauline Butler’s backyard on September 1. 

Her family believes she was gang-raped before being bashed repeatedly with a concrete block and are calling for more arrests.

Sitting on a bench outside court, Butler said: “At the scene, the 18-year-old was acting suspicious and had fresh scratch marks on his neck. So the arrest didn’t surprise me. He was arrested on Monday and on Tuesday the other one was arrested.

“They both allegedly belong to the Hard Livings gang and we know there are more.”

Enraged aunt Ellicia Martin, 35, said she was unhappy that the matter was heard in a closed court, and that the law should change when it came to juveniles who committed “heinous crimes”.

“No child can do what he did to our Janika. The so-called minor is also a re-offender. When President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about the killings of children and gender-based violence, he mentioned no age on crimes.

Video: Okuhle Hlati

“We want no bail and we want life sentences for all these heartless perpetrators. That is the only way we will get closure as a family. I am happy that our community and the public has been supporting us. This is the hardest time of our lives,” said Martin.

The mother of the 17-year-old said if her son committed the crime, she would welcome his punishment.

The accused will remain in custody and are expected to make a third court appearance next Wednesday, following a postponement yesterday as the prosecutor was ill. Mallo will be laid to rest on Saturday. 

Major-General Norman Sekhukhune said the crimes against women involved murder, sexual offences, attempted murder, assault to do grievous bodily harm (GBH) and common assault. 

Gauteng, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Eastern Cape had the highest number of crimes against women and children. 

The figures show Gauteng recorded 53 937 crimes against women and children, Eastern Cape 28 945, KZN 33 667 Mpumalanga 12 029, Free State 15 316 and Limpopo 12 226. North West recorded 15 633, Northern Cape 7 167 and Western Cape 46 092. 

According to Sekhukhune, the murder of women stood at 2 771, a reduction of 159 from the previous reported year. He also said the sexual offences tally was 36 597, a reduction of 134 cases (0.4%). 

Attempted murder stood at 3 445, down by 109 cases, while assault (GBH) decreased by 879 to 54 142 cases while common assault increased by 1 586 to 82 728. 

Sekhukhune also said rape cases decreased by 1.1%, a reduction of 355 to 30 626, while contact sexual assault decreased by 27 to stand at 488. Sexual assault increased by 4.1% to 3 771 and attempted rape by 6.1% to 1 712. 

Crimes against children showed a total of 1 014 murders, total sexual assault 24 387, attempted murder 1 184, assault (GBH) 7 815 and common assault 10 829. 

Sekhukhune also noted that there were a number of youth in conflict with the law. 

“We have observed some of these murders are committed by other children themselves,” he said. 

There were 737 cases where children were the perpetrators and not the victims of murder. Sekhukhune said crimes committed by children was not a new phenomenon. 

“We want to make you to understand the contributory factors that lead to the increase,” he said. 

“We also felt for this financial year it would be ideal to also highlight the fact that the perception might be these murders are committed by adults on children, whereas in some instances it is the very same children who are killing their peers.” 

Ilitha Labantu and Molo Songololo said they were concerned that more children were committing crime. 

Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali said: “The unfortunate part of living in a violent society is that the children are picking up these traits from their violent communities. 

"This is truly a sad state of affairs because children learn through the actions of the adults.” 

Molo Songololo director Patrick Solomons said the stats were alarming and disappointing. 

“It highlights the lack of your government’s responses to prevent and combat crimes against people. The stats paint an appalling picture of violence against children. 

“We need all of government at national, provincial and local level, in partnership with civil society and local communities, to work together,” said Solomons.

Cape Times