My heart goes out to Bongiwe Ngubeni and her sister Nelisiwe Fulani who are charged with culpable homicide, child abuse and child neglect following the deaths in a fire of the Ngobeni siblings Nonhlanhla , 7, Sandile, 4, and Amukelani, 2, and five-year-old Mantle Fulani.
These children died last month when their two-roomed house caught fire in Alexandra township, north of Johannesburg.
The two women were condemned, vilified and called names and labelled as irresponsible, heartless, cruel and reckless parents.
Most of us have framed the narrative that these two women deliberately went out of their way to kill those children.
I find it hard to believe or even buy into that distorted pedestrian analysis. It can't be true that these women had planned the deaths of their children.
What I also find missing in this one-sided condemnation is the lack of questioning of the whereabouts of the fathers of these children.
But the answer lies in the traditional belief that it is the primary role of women to care for the children while fathers literally get away with murder.
It is this disproportioned burden of care which is placed on women that makes us not even ask the whereabouts of fathers in this whole sad tragedy. I hold no brief for Bongiwe Ngobeni and Nelisiwe Fulani.
All I am asking for, as you read this piece, is to exercise some form of sympathy and empathy.
We never ask ourselves why we allow kids to be raised under abject poverty, 24 years into our democracy.