A three-year-old girl whose body was found at a garbage dump in Gauteng on Friday is one of at least five children who went through violence in the first two weeks of Youth Month.
The toddler, who was reported missing on June 17, was believed to have been stabbed to death, after which her body was left at a garbage dump in Orange Grove.
According to Capt. Gauteng police spokeswoman Kay Makhubele could not reveal her name until her family was notified of her death.
Another young child whose body was found only about a week earlier in a house in Belhar on the Cape Flats in the Western Cape was Raynecia Kortjie (8). Her killer allegedly tortured her before her death.
In the past two weeks, three young girls have been raped in Mpumalanga.
In the latest incident, two thieves raped a 13-year-old girl in Bosbokrand on Thursday, while an eight-year-old girl was raped in the care center where she lives on June 13 in Barberton. A 21-year-old employee of the care center has been arrested.
On June 8, two men raped a two-year-old girl in Mashishing (Lydenburg).
Bhavna Luchtman, a spokeswoman for Childline South Africa, says between April 2019 and March 2020, 837 cases of rape and 474 sexual assault cases were reported to the organization.
Prof. Dap Louw, forensic psychologist and extraordinary professor at the University of the Free State, rapes as “not as ‘macho’ as they pretend to be”.
He explains that it is not necessarily for these criminals to satisfy a sexual need, but for the violent subjugation of the victim and that he (the criminal) is the one in charge of the situation and subjugation.
Because it’s about control, pedophiles target children, Louw says. “Children pose a much smaller threat to such criminals than an adult woman. Truly an extremely cowardly act. ”
He does, however, emphasize that every case and every person is unique, and that in many cases the rape is “opportunistic” and not necessarily pedophilistic in many cases.
It’s not necessarily just pedophiles who rape minors, Louw says. “However, with a pedophile, it is long-term behavior and there is a certain pattern.”
Louw explains that pedophiles and other sexual offenders usually have a strong genetic basis and that they have often, and especially as children, also been victims of similar and other violence.
“Socio-economic circumstances also play a role. Millions of families in our country live in one room where there is no sexual privacy. So children are exposed to it from a young age and it becomes normal for them, ”says Louw.
Dumisile Nala, also a spokeswoman for Childline, says it’s important for parents to realize that a child often abused, including being sexually abused, by someone they know. “That’s why parents should talk to their children about this.”
Offenders tend to prepare or soften children by, for example, buying them luxury items or meeting their emotional needs. They also threaten to harm children and other family members so that children should remain silent about the crimes, ”says Nala.
Parents can call Childline on 08000 55 55 5 if they are concerned about their children’s well-being.