Statistics released by the Western Cape provincial government for child murders in the make for horrific reading with 989 children murdered in the last five years. This loosely translates to four children murdered each week in the province.
According to an analysis of child murders in the province presented by the Department of Social Development, between April 1, 2013 and March 31 last year, more than 781 children between the ages of 13 and 17 were killed, as were 76 between the ages of six and 12 and 128 between the ages of 0 and five.
According to the stats, the majority of the children murdered were boys (807) and 182 girls. Murders were specifically prevalent over weekends, mostly.
The stats also showed that the areas with the highest number of child murders reported was the Nyanga police cluster with 225, Mitchells Plain with 135, Khayelitsha cluster with 97, Blue Downs with 181 child murders and the Tygerberg cluster with 61.
Professor Shanaaz Mathews, director at the Children’s Institute, said: “Child homicides are a low priority for police. There is a lack of co-ordination between health, police and social services and it compromised the outcome and management of child abuse deaths.”
Mathews said the high levels of sexual violence fuelled the burden of rape/murder among children, particularly girls, and needed to addressed.