Kimberley - A two-year-old Northern Cape girl drowned this weekend after she was allegedly pushed into a dam by her 12-year-old cousin . . . and family members have blamed Satanism.
The incident happened on a farm outside Jan Kempdorp on Saturday.
The victim’s family members, yesterday told the DFA that they suspect that the 12-year-old girl, “in doing her devil’s work”, deliberately pushed Refilwe Ramahlabi, two, into the water.
“We are not surprised by this incident, but we are shocked because it confirms our suspicions that the child (the 12-year-old) is possessed by the devil . . . she is working for the devil.
“The manner in which the incident happened reminds us of a similar incident that occurred last year when she (the same 12-year-old girl) allegedly pushed two children into an open drain. The two children survived the ordeal,” family members, who preferred not to have their names published, said.
According to Ramahlabi’s family, several hours before the incident, Ramahlabi and her three-year-old cousin were playing at a neighbour’s yard before the 12-year-old arrived.
“She (the 12-year-old girl) told Ramalhabi and the other child that she had come to fetch them and that they had to come home. Instead of walking them home, she took them to a farm about 10 kilometres outside town where the girl drowned. We do not even know how they walked that far,” the family said.
They said that when they later questioned the 12-year-old girl on how Ramahlabi drowned, she said that she (Ramahlabi) was standing next to the dam when she fell in.
“What is strange is that when the two girls (12 and three) returned home after the incident, the three-year-old had bruises on her hands and tummy. When we asked her what had happened, the older cousin responded by saying that the three-year-old fell into a water canal. However, we suspect that the 12-year-old cut her with something.”
According to the victim’s family, the 12-year-old girl should be taken to a place of safety so that other children could be safe and she could get help.
Northern Cape police spokeswoman, Lieutenant Andrea Cloete, yesterday confirmed that Ramahlabi was in the company of the two girls (12 and three) before she drowned.
She said, however, that it is suspected that Ramahlabi fell into the water while urinating next to the dam.
“It is believed that Ramahlabi wanted to urinate and the 12-year-old told her that she could not urinate next to the road and that she had to go to the dam. The two-year-old then fell into the dam and drowned,” Cloete said.
She said that it is believed that the girls were on their way to Ramahlabi’s uncle, who lives on a farm near the town, at the time of the incident.
Cloete added that a community member who saw the body of the girl floating face down in the water, reported the matter to the police.
“The police immediately attended to the scene but the two-year-old was already dead,” she said.
Ramahlabi’s family members and residents also accused the police in the area of showing no interest in finding the three girls, despite them being reported missing shortly after they disappeared from the neighbour’s yard.
“Moments after the children went missing, we called the police, but instead of assisting us they shouted at us and asked us where they should get the missing children if we did not know where the children were?
“Perhaps the two-year-old would still be alive today had the police taken the family seriously,” some of the residents said.
According to them the police only responded when they were told that Ramahlabi had drowned in the dam.
“They went to Ramahlabi’s home to fetch her mother so that she could identify the body.”
According to residents in the area the police never went into the house to talk to Ramahlabi’s mother. “They just stood at the gate and called for someone to call the child’s mother.
“After she identified Ramahlabi’s body at the dam, the police drove her back to her home, but dropped her a couple of streets from her house. We feel that the police’s conduct showed that they did not care about the missing children and about Ramahlabi’s mother, who is still traumatised by the incident.”
Cloete confirmed that the child’s mother first reported her missing at 3.05pm on Saturday afternoon at the police station.
“An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. All other allegations will be investigated and it will form part of the police investigation,” Cloete added.
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