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Child abduction cases a small percentage of 1,000 SA child murders a year

17 February 2020 8:17 AM
Tags:
Child murders
child abductions
Researcher Lucy Jamieson says child abductions in W Cape tend to garner more media focus but three children are murdered a day.

The search for missing eight-year-old, Tazne Van Wyk who went missing over a week ago continued over the weekend. Over 100 people scoured the neighbourhood in and around Connaught Estate in Ravensmead but to no avail.

Tazne was allegedly taken when she visited a tuckshop near her Elsies River home in Connaught Estate and EWN reports that a reward is being offered for information that could lead to tracing the missing girl and her alleged kidnapper, 54-year-old Moehydien Pangaker.

Lucy Jamieson, a senior researcher at UCT's Children's Institute talks to Lester Kiewit.

She says child disappearances and murders in the Western Cape tend to be in the spotlight because of the media focus on the issue, rather than that the numbers in the region are higher than anywhere else.

If you look at the figures, the number of children who are murdered every year has remained fairly static over the last ten years at about 1000 cases every year.

Lucy Jamieson, Senior researcher - UCT's Children's Institute

Each one of those is horrific and tragic but that's three child murders every day.

Lucy Jamieson, Senior researcher - UCT's Children's Institute

Most child murders are connected to gang violence in Cape Town.

Another reason is infanticide where poor, desperate women kill their own children in the first few days of life because they don't know how they are going to manage to raise them, she explains.

These awful abduction cases are actually a small percentage of the overall number, but we've seen in our analysis of the trends and the patterns, in terms of murder versus the reporting, that you get this inverse focus.

Lucy Jamieson, Senior researcher - UCT's Children's Institute

And it is these fewer cases of abduction that attract most media attention, she says.

I want us to get that into perspective. For every family going through this, it feels like the end of the world. It tears communities apart..but important to put them into context in terms of frequency.

Lucy Jamieson, Senior researcher - UCT's Children's Institute

She says the key issue is child care.

We need to make sure that children are accompanied when they go to the shop.

Lucy Jamieson, Senior researcher - UCT's Children's Institute

You need to make sure your children are safe and constantly supervised.

Lucy Jamieson, Senior researcher - UCT's Children's Institute

Communities need to be involved, she adds.

In Lavender Hill, for example, parents have got together and do patrols.

Lucy Jamieson, Senior researcher - UCT's Children's Institute

She says government also has a role to play, and there needs to be more police on the streets, and child care facilities.

Listen to the interview and advice below:


17 February 2020 8:17 AM
Tags:
Child murders
child abductions

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