A 4-year old girl was reported missing, in Brakpan near Johannesburg, last month.
The entire community was out looking for her, and due to admirable police work, she was eventually found in her own home, under the bed – dead.
The little girl had been raped and murdered, by her own 20-something year old uncle. This is not an allegation – the rapist took the police to where he had hidden the body. That’s an admission of guilt, I think.
The community of Brakpan was devastated. Wreaths and soft toys were laid outside the house where she lived, candles were lit and prayers were prayed, (If you want to appear to be doing something useful, start praying)
The girl’s parents’ lives were threatened because they allegedly did not take proper care of her. (Because violence in response to violence is an appropriate reaction?)
At the funeral, which was in a christian church and attended by hundreds of angry, upset neighbours and friends, a reporter from the local TV station interviewed the little girl’s 6-year old sister.
The interviewer asked her how she felt, and the little girl replied she was “happy” because her baby sister “is in heaven.”
The parents reported that they are “not ready to forgive the rapist yet.”
Okay, I don’t know about you, but this whole thing makes me sick to the stomach.
WHY would you feel some obligation to FORGIVE the bastard who had raped your child, caused her terrible suffering and pain, and then murdered her? Even if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, what he did is UNFORGIVEABLE!! He deserves to rot in jail for the rest of his life. He should be removed from society, locked away for good.
I think it’s despicable that the rape and murder of a child is glossed over, and it’s all okay because she is now “in heaven.” No, she’s not, she’s dead. A sweet young life has been snuffed out in the most horrible way. It’s not okay to take comfort in the belief that she is in a better place. Face facts – she is dead, you will never see her again. All your hopes and dreams for your daughter have died with her.
BE ANGRY!!!! Do something to prevent more little children suffering the same fate!! Forgiveness and “heaven” are not the correct response to this tragedy!!!
The rapist’s trial has been postponed for the police to do further investigations. And in the meantime, more babies and children suffer the same fate every day. We don’t always have the same outcry about it, but it’s happening. Only 5% of rape cases result in a successful conviction, so this rapist could conceivably get away with his crime…
South Africa has one of the highest incidences of HIV/AIDS in the world (well over 5 million infections, over 300 000 deaths annually), and there is a supposed “cure” available: sex with a virgin. South Africa also has the highest incidence of child rape in the world.
Connect the dots…
How do we stop this madness?
- Educate people. especially children, about the real causes and treatments for HIV/AIDS and other venereal diseases
- Promote safe sex, provide free condoms
- Reduce police inefficiency and corruption, so that more rape cases are successfully prosecuted
- Much harsher punishment for anyone found guilty of rape, especially where it results in the death of a child. This is one instance where I think the death penalty would be appropriate – and I don’t say that lightly…
- Political leadership – preferably get rid of our president who has been on trial for rape himself, and got away with it
- Better Child Welfare services
- Citizens should report suspected cases of child abuse – about 90% of child abuse goes unreported in South Africa.
That last point is critical in my opinion. If you know, or suspect, that a child is being abused, report it to the authorities. Get Child Welfare involved. They will get the police involved if it’s warranted.
But don’t just sit back and pretend it’s not happening, and when that child is raped and murdered, don’t comfort yourself with the myth that at least she is now “in heaven,” and you should “forgive” the rapist.
That kind of thinking has only contributed to the terrible situation we find ourselves in now…