Killing of children a crisis in SA, says criminal experts

The killing of children is a national crisis
The killing of children is a national crisis
Image: Gallo Images/iStockphoto

The recent spate of children killed by their parents or relatives is part of an increase in the crime, says a criminal expert.

Two weeks ago, Limpopo mother Keletso Maimela, 30, handed herself over to the police and confessed to murdering her one-year-old daughter with her boyfriend Fannie Pholoane, 28, in September.

The child was allegedly forced into a bucket filled with water and drowned while Pholoane held her tiny legs.

Another baby, two-month-old Nkanyiso, was killed last month allegedly by her 27-year-old father in KwaMhlanga, Mpumalanga.

The father has been charged with the baby's murder after he allegedly strangled her, slit her throat and stabbed her in the neck with a bottle.

In August, in Kempton Park, a couple was arrested in connection with the death of their five-month-old baby after a postmortem report revealed he died an unnatural death.

The report said the child suffered bruises on the body and an injury on the head.

In KwaZulu-Natal, in November, Sbu Mpungose was sentenced to four life terms for the murders of his three children Kuhlekonke, 4, Khwezi, 6, and Siphesihle Mpungose, 10, and his stepdaughter Ayakha Jiyane, 17.

Three of the children were found hanging at their home by their mother Xolisile.

Criminal expert Chandre Gould from the Institute for Security Studies said crime statistics for the 2018/19 financial year showed that there was an increase in the murder of children, with 1,014 children murdered in that period.

Gould said the statistics did not reveal how many were killed by their parents.

She said a Medical Research Council mortuary study estimated that in 2009 about 454 children were killed by their mothers due to abuse, neglect or abandonment.

"This tells us that we are in a crisis. The killing of children by parents, whether intentional or unintentional, also tells a story of desperation and depression," she said.

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