On Mother’s Day the parents of three-year-old Courtney Pieters had the grim task of identifying their child’s body at the morgue. Picture: Supplied

Can we not trust our husbands, brothers, uncles, friends, teachers to not hurt our children when we can’t be around, asks Riana Howa.


On Mother’s Day many dads gave moms the day off and took the children off their hands. But cynical journalist that I am, all I could think about was how many fathers or male significant others would take advantage of the situation and abuse the kids while mom wasn’t watching?

Because according to the news, men are trash and cannot be trusted.

Also on Mother’s Day the parents of three-year-old Courtney Pieters had the grim task of identifying their child’s body at the morgue.

A “trusted” family friend and tenant who lived in the family home has been arrested for her murder.

Courtney’s mom said she had felt completely comfortable with leaving her children with him.

But no, apparently men are trash and cannot be trusted.

Calls have now been made for people, especially mothers, to be more vigilant about their children’s safety. But all the mothers I know are already in a constant state of vigilance about their children. How much more vigilant can we possibly be?

Can we not even turn around for a second to take care of everything else going on in our lives? Can we not go to work, because most of us have to work, and trust that we will see our children safe and sound when we get back? Can we not trust our husbands, brothers, uncles, friends, teachers to not hurt our children when we can’t be around?

Will we have to teach our children to not just not talk to strangers, but to not talk to anyone?

Will we have to keep our children on leashes, like dogs, to keep them safe as per a video clip that caused a stir on social media this week?

Will another generation of girls be scarred by constant fear of lurking predators waiting for the gap to pounce on them?

And it's not only the children who are suffering. 

The hashtag #MenAreTrash began trending last week shortly after it was revealed that missing 22-year-old, Karabo Mokoena, had been found and her boyfriend Sandile Mantswe arrested.

Picture: Twitter


The stories of women shared under the hashtag were shocking, heart-wrenching, horrible and diverse.
The common denominator being men are trash and cannot be trusted.I know there are good guys and wonderful fathers out there. I’m not saying there aren’t.

What I am saying is that if the vast majority of half of the population cannot be trusted, when will our children feel free of fear to play and learn and be part of the community inside and outside their homes? Because that's what I want for my child: to be fearless in work and play and to be part of a community that nurtures, uplifts and cares.

And when will mothers be allowed to relax our vigilance and not have this constant knot of fear in our stomachs for just a few seconds, minutes, hours? Because as a working mom I want to free from anxiety so I can use my energy to create a happy child, a happy home and a happy work life.

And lastly please tell me: when will we be able to trust men again?

* Riana Howa is IOL Editor