'Uncaring cops refuse to bury my daughter'

Tinyiko Kubayi, 21, is mourning the death of her daughter, Mmapula, an 18-month-old toddler who was run over in Tshamahansi village near Mokopane, Limpopo. Pic. Antonio Muchave
Tinyiko Kubayi, 21, is mourning the death of her daughter, Mmapula, an 18-month-old toddler who was run over in Tshamahansi village near Mokopane, Limpopo. Pic. Antonio Muchave

The mother of a Limpopo toddler who was run over and killed, allegedly by a police van, has pleaded for help to bury her daughter.

She has also accused police of not caring.

Tinyiko Kubayi's 18-month-old daughter, Mmapula, was killed on Thursday while she was out playing with her brother and friends in Tshamahansi village outside Mokopane.

According to Kubayi, 21, the two police officers who were travelling in the van refused to take her daughter to a nearby clinic.

"I wrapped her in a towel and took her to a local clinic as she was bleeding from the nose and ears. Nurses at the clinic confirmed that she had died," she said.

Yesterday, Kubayi said she had been unable to get hold of the officer who allegedly knocked down her daughter nor has she been offered any help by the police.

She said she had no money to bury her daughter and wanted the officer responsible for her daughter's death to help her.

"My daughter was killed like a dog and nobody has bothered to contact me to help in making funeral arrangements," Kubayi said.

She said police had not given the family a case number or a progress report of their investigation into the matter.

The grieving mother said she last received a call from the police in Mahwelereng who informed her that they wanted a statement from her, but she refused.

"I cannot give a statement to the police while I'm still mourning my daughter's death," said Kubayi who is unemployed.

She also appealed for help with counselling services for her eight-year-old son, Karabo, who witnessed his young sister's death and was having nightmares.

Her aunt, Jeanet Kubayi, said the officer who allegedly killed the child was not known to the family as he came from Giyani and had only started working in the area recently.

"All we want is assistance with burial costs.

"We understand that my grandchild was hit by mistake but we want the officer to man up," said the 53-year-old.

Police spokesman, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said police "are aware of the incident and had opened a culpable homicide case".

"We are offering to assist the family with burial costs. However, this assistance should not be viewed as though police accept liability.

"The case will have to go through a court process," Mojapelo said.

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