Anger over police’s response after mom allegedly found with bloodied kids
Cape Town – The DA in Limpopo wants the police to explain their ’’gross dereliction of duty’’ in the Groblersdal family violence incident.
A mother has appeared in the Groblersdal Magistrate’s Court on a charge of attempted murder after a security guard, Amos Mambuza, alerted by a screaming child, found a bloodied 8-year-old and a toddler at 3am on Wednesday.
Patrolling along a line wire on a large farm on the N11 Schoeman Road, outside Groblersdal, he allegedly saw their mother throwing a knife into the bushes.
The SAPS were called out, but the caller was informed that there were no vehicles to respond to a call-out, DA community safety spokesperson in Limpopo Katlego Phala said in a statement on Thursday.
The mother allegedly told Mambuza she had been chased away from her house in Masakaneng by her husband, and that she did not know how she would take care of her children, the Middelburg Observer reported.
Nico Pretorius, owner of Swift EMS, said he had also made several calls to the provincial ambulance services for assistance, but received no response. He immediately transported the two children – the 14-month-old’s throat was cut up to his larynx – to Groblersdal Hospital for medical treatment.
“I also contacted the Groblersdal police station, after which it was said that there were no vehicles available and that the children had to be taken to hospital first, after which the children had to come to the police station later to open the case. How can an 8-year-old and a 1-year-old open a case at the police station?’’
Phala said the DA would write to the acting provincial commissioner of police, General Jan Scheepers, to request an urgent investigation into the failure of the Groblersdal SAPS to provide effective assistance to the victims.
’’Although the DA is saddened by such a tragic turn of events, we are very concerned at the lack of immediate response by SAPS. It is unacceptable that a police station such as Groblersdal does not have vehicles available to attend an incident involving minor victims,’’ Phala said.
’’In 2020, the DA submitted questions for written response to the MEC for Community safety, Mavhungu-Lerule Ramakhanya, to ascertain the number vehicles allocated to Limpopo SAPS per station and the state of roadworthiness these vehicles were in, but do date has received no response.
’’We are now insisting on transparency regarding the number of police vehicles in our province and call on MEC Ramakhanya to provide the information requested.
’’We further request acting commissioner Scheepers to prioritise this investigation and to institute disciplinary action against any member/s found to be negligent.
’’It is time that SAPS get serious about protecting the most vulnerable in our society and we will relent until this investigation is finalised and our men and women are resourced to serve their communities effectively.’’
Pretorius said they had waited for 70 minutes before a detective from the Groblersdal police station arrived at the scene.
The security manager of the nearby farm, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “Why are the police not coming? What if it was a farm attack?
“I was a policeman for 21 years and never in my life would we say that there are no vehicles available, or take more than an hour to arrive at a scene.’’