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Preventing Child Homicide after the Recent Death of a 5-year-old in Soweto

Thursday 13 April 2017

Save the Children South Africa sends its deepest condolences to the family of Rikson Mongwe who was stabbed to death while playing with friends in Soweto earlier this week.

The tragic death of the 5-year-old has reignited the Save the Children’s call to government for greater investments in child protection and the prevention of crimes against children.

“As a society plagued by violence, we need to be cognisant of the damage we are doing to our future leaders and breadwinners. We need to begin to see our children as the innocent souls that they are and regain our humanity to the point where harming a child is unfathomable,” said Save the Children Child Protection Manager, Bongani Makhubo.

 In addition, Makhubo called on the public not to take matters into their own hands but rather work with the authorities to prevent future crimes from taking place.

“Violence against children is a societal issue. All of us; government, civil society, business and the public have a responsibility to protect children from witnessing and experiencing violence. While we have focused our attention on the death of 5-year-old Rikson, we must also recognise the psychological trauma his friends would have experienced from witnessing this crime. We know from our Violence Against Children costing study that the impacts of witnessing a violent crime can have a profound impact on an individual even later in life. The community needs to turn their outrage into compassion for these children and ensure they are supported through this difficult time,” added Makhubo.

In November 2016, Save the Children South Africa released a costing study that showed violence against children in South Africa cost the economy close to R238 billion in GDP in 2015. 

The organisation has since prioritised ending violence against children in South Africa and is working with both government and civil society to curb the number of child abuse and child homicide cases. It is therefore our strong position to condemn the practices and beliefs which is threatening the lives of the children in South Africa. We call on the public to join us in fighting this barbaric practice. One voice and concerted efforts will combat and end the myths and save the lives of the children and their future. 

If you would like to support their campaign visit or follow them on twitter @savechildrenSA

For more information or to set up an interview contact: Lois Moodley on 0724401519 or [email protected]

About: Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In South Africa and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.

 Note to the Editor: If children are affected, we’ve got something to say. Our team of experts are available for comments, interviews and information.

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