The ANC is trying to play political games with the very serious issue of child killings. It is actually shameful to see how desperate the ANC is to retain some relevance in the province.
A clear pattern emerging from these child murder and sexual abuse cases is that suspects are persons known and perhaps even trusted by the victims. Many of the arrest and court proceedings involve those close to the victims, whether it be friends, family or associates.
We need to talk about this as a society. We need to mobilise communities to take the lead in ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to justice
Our government will continue to lead this much needed conversation through our Ministers of Social Development, Health and Community Safety. Minister Mbombo will expand on this when she launches Women’s Month this Friday at the Thuthuzela Centre for rape victims in Athlone.
Our government is playing a critical role in supporting victims and their families through the professional services in our Thuthuzela Centres across the province, through counselling and support to families, and through our oversight role over the police and monitoring of court cases.
We need as a society to talk about the role that families play in ensuring the safety of their children. A Children’s Commissioner or even the SAPS cannot be present behind closed doors in the privacy of people’s homes where a worrying number of interpersonal violence incidents are taking place.
The ANC is also nevertheless aware that we are currently in the process of finalising a policy to guide the development of provincial legislation for the appointment of a Children’s Commissioner.
This policy will inform the functions and role of the proposed Commissioner and enable the process to move forward. In all the years of ANC government in the Western Cape a Children’s Commissioner was never appointed, nor does any other province have a Children’s Commissioner where the ANC governs.
Meanwhile, our Government’s support to children and families is the largest single item in our Social Development Department’s annual budget, and this year our programmes for children & families received R651.5-million. This spend stretches closer to R1 billion when one includes the staff and operations required to carry out child protection, investments in child justice and children with disabilities.
We also provide funding and support to approximately 420 NGOs working in the ECD, Child & Youth Care Centres, drop-in centres that render critical child protection services, and a range of therapeutic services rendered by social workers.
The ANC must stop this shameful gimmick. Children’s lives are not for politicking.
Michael Mpofu, Spokesperson for Western Cape Premier Helen Zille