Ocean View gang crossfire death: NGO calls for harsher sentences for child killers
Hours after a seven-year-old-girl, Emaan Solomons, was shot dead during crossfire between rival gangs in Ocean View, Cape Town, on Tuesday evening, calls were made for harsher measures to be taken against those convicted of killing children.
The sentiment was expressed by the Butterfly JH Foundation on Wednesday after what it described as a ruthless killing.
“Emaan did not deserve to die, she's not a statistic,” said the organisation’s founding member, Rev June Major.
The foundation, which provides free counselling and prevention services to those affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, said the death opened wounds surrounding the murder of eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk.
Van Wyk, who went missing from her Elsies River home almost three weeks ago, was found dead by police last Wednesday night. Moehydien Pangaker, 54, who was on parole, was arrested and charged with her murder.
“Tazne is not even buried yet and we lose another little child,” Major said.
She called for harsher measures to be taken against people arrested for and found guilty of killing children, including life sentences without parole and revocation of privileges.
Major said the foundation had organised a march to parliament next Thursday, where it would present a memorandum calling for an end to the killing of women and children.
It was also expected to visit and provide support to the family of Solomons and attend the funeral of Van Wyk on Saturday.
“Once everyone leaves, the family is left alone to deal with their grief on their own,” she said.
Major said the foundation welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to Van Wyk's family on Tuesday evening, but said the president could not visit all families whose children had been killed.
“That is why we are calling for strong action to be taken against those found guilty of these crimes. When they get arrested, they must get a life sentence without a possibility of parole.
“All their rights need to be revoked and they need to do hard labour,” Major said.
She also suggested that money spent in correctional services for further education of offenders be given to the families of the victims instead.