File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
I strongly condemn the spate of child rape and abuse in Cape Town and the rest of the Western Cape.

In the past couple of weeks, we have seen horrendous cases of child abuse and rape circulate in the media. These include the rape of a 9-year-old girl by a 17-year-old boy in Blikkiesdorp; a child rape game reported in the Daily Voice called “treintjie” targeting young boys; and the rape and murder of 4-year-old Iyapha Yamile from Khayelitsha.

I commend the South African Police Service for the arrests they have made thus far and call on communities to support them to build solid cases and bring the perpetrators of these crimes to book.

Any families whose children have been sexually abused or raped must immediately report such incidents to the police. The police will then report the matter to the Department of Social Development (DSD), after which we will deploy our social workers.

Family members and victims of abuse can also call the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250 for support.

Child abuse and rape have no place in our society. I call on all men, women and children to stand up and make their voices heard. If you see something, say something.

We must work better together if we are to end these cruel and barbaric acts against children.

We all have a role to play as government, civil society, religious leaders, and families.

I call on communities and parents to be extra vigilant, especially of children, who’ll soon be enjoying their December holidays.

As adults and parents, we are on the frontline of protecting children from harm.

The protection of our children requires a whole-of-society approach. This means that, as parents, siblings, mentors and educators, it is imperative that we educate the youth on sexual consent and safe sexual practices.

Our social workers and NGO partners will continue to provide psycho-social support and other interventions for those affected during this difficult time.