Murder of four-year-old girl shocks South Africans

Johannesburg, Dec 31: An incident of rape and murder of a four-year-old girl in a South African town has caused a wave of shock and fury in the country.

The little girl (name hidden) was allegedly raped and murdered by her 23- year-old uncle at the weekend in Brakpan, a gold and uranium mining town, southeast of Johannesburg. Her body was found under a bed at her father’s home, Xinhua reported.

The suspect, charged with murdering his niece, appeared briefly in the Brakpan Magistrates Court Monday morning. Hundreds of community members gathered outside the court, yelling and calling the accused a pig and drug addict. The crowd threatened to take justice into their own hands if the accused was not punished severely.

“The minister has called on the courts and the justice system to be swift and firm when sentencing whoever is found guilty of this crime,” said a spokesperson of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana.

The court should deny the suspect bail and give him the harshest sentence possible, the official said.

The little girl is the latest victim of uncurbed violence against children in and around Johannesburg over the past few months.

In October, at least four children were killed in Diepsloot township, north of Johannesburg.

In a related development, a 34-year-old mother and her four children, aged between two months and five-years, were stabbed to death inside their home Sunday morning in a village in northern South Africa. The suspect, 44, was believed to be the woman’s boyfriend.

IANS