Johannesburg - The newly-launched Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP) has taken a swipe at the police for failing to find missing 8-year-old Amahle Michelle Thabethe who was abducted 10 days ago from her home in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni.
The SRWP, which envisages a socialist society where all vulnerable sectors of society, particularly women, children, the elderly, can live in a safe environment, said crime affects the working class most because of the impact of poverty and unemployment.
"The SAPS [SA Police Service] does not prioritise the suffering of the working class," said the new party launched last month.
"They often respond faster when protecting the interests of wealthy capitalists. If Amahle had gone missing in a predominantly wealthy white suburb in Sandton, instead of in a poor black working class neighbourhood in Tsakane, she would have been found by now, or at least, the perpetrator would have been arrested.
"It seems the SAPS is not interested in taking this case seriously."
On Tuesday the SRWP in Gauteng participated in a march to demand the safe return of Amahle.
The missing child who lives with her mother was last seen playing near her home on April 6, after she was lured away from her friends by a stranger.
"On the day of her disappearance, the police were called to apprehend a man believed to be the suspect in her kidnapping. The police chased after the man, but he got away, and the police never bothered to follow-up on the matter," said the SRWP.
In a statement on Wednesday the SRWP said it formed a search party on the 9 April with the community of Extension 10 to find the man who is alleged to have taken her.
"We located the suspect and handed him over to the police. The police promised us and her family that they would investigate the matter and that they would not release him without informing the family. They also asked for witnesses, and we assisted in locating eye witnesses who identified the suspect in the kidnapping," said the statement released by Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, national spokesperson of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), which formed SRWP.
Apart from being spokesperson of Numsa, the biggest single trade union in South Africa with more than 338 000 members, Hlubi-Majola is also the SRWP Interim Gauteng chairperson.
"The SAPS claimed they went to the home of the suspect and they did not find any evidence that he kidnapped Amahle. And to our dismay, on Friday 12th April, they released the him. He never appeared in court, and, they did not inform the family that he had been released," said the statement.
The new party called on the police to "double their efforts to find her which is why we are demanding that a task team be established in the next 24 hours to assist with this case so that he can be found".
The police could not be immediately reached for comment.
African News Agency/ANA