Anger over ‘justice failure’

Judges gavel and law books stacked behind

The body of a 14-year-old Grade 6 Northwood Primary School pupil was found in her grandmother’s backyard in Heinz Park on Sunday, reportedly half naked with her head bashed in.

The grim find on Sunday September 1 at 8.17am in Chiapinni Street comes hours after South Africans concluded Women’s Month and 10 days after a one-year-old girl was raped in Orpheus Crescent in the neighbouring suburb of Woodlands (“Bail petition goes viral”, Plainsman, August 28).

Police provincial spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel André Traut, said no one had yet been arrested for Heinz Park teen Janika Mallo’s murder and that a post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

At Northwood Primary, Janika’s Grade 6 class is reeling after her murder. The school was due to have a memorial service for Janika today, Wednesday September 4.

Janika was described as a quiet, diligent pupil, who did not give her teachers any problems.

A teacher, who did not want to be named, said: “She was very pleasant and humble”.

Janika had three younger siblings at the school.

“We are really broken. It hit us hard,” said the teacher.

She said Janika’s classmates had been told about her murder by other pupils at the school.

The pupils have received counselling from the school psychologist and the circuit manager was at the school on Monday September 2.

Meanwhile, the charge against the 57-year-old Woodlands man suspected of the rape of the one-year-old Woodlands girl was provisionally withdrawn be-
cause there was insufficient evidence.

Eric Ntabazalila, regional communications manager for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), said they were waiting for DNA test results.

“The case against the accused was withdrawn so there is no court appearance on Monday September 9,” he said.

The rape of the little girl, who is known as Baby C, took place on the afternoon of Thursday August 22. The nanny, 28, of Baby C, who stays around the corner from the family, brought her home as usual, and left.

On returning home from work, Baby C’s mother, changed her nappy. It was then that she noticed blood and bruises.

She was taken to hospital for a medical examination, where it was confirmed that she had been raped.

On Saturday August 31 residents lit a bonfire in front of the nanny’s house in Orpheus Crescent. Hours later Janika’s body was found about two kilometres away.

Incensed at the violence, particularly against women and children, the Mitchell’s Plain community say the justice system has failed them and that the wheels of justice grind slowly.

Mitchell’s Plain youth have called on their peers to unite in the fight against murder, the rape of women and children by wearing black and purple and bringing their placards along to Total Garage, on the corner of Spine Road and Weltevreden roads in Rocklands, and Cedar High School in Rocklands on Saturday September 7 at 8.30am. Call Natalie Smit on 071 886 0412 or Bradwyn Adams on 061 448 7459 for more details on this placard demonstration.

New Creations Outreach will be marching on Sunday September 8 at 4pm, starting at the corner of Eisleben Road and Selene Way in Lentegeur. The non-profit organisation has a programme called “Break My Silence “, which is based on a young girl who was raped multiple rapes by three different men for eight years of her life.

They will be joined by Lentegeur Community Police Forum (CPF), Mount Hope, Supporting People In Need (SPIN), neighbourhood watches and SAPS who will be having a prayer walk in honour of every woman and child killed and sexually violated.

Kaamillah Ismail, deputy chairperson of Lentegeur Community Police Forum, called on the community to take a stand at a public meeting last week. “We are human beings and we are here to protect each other. It is by time we say enough is enough.”

She said residents should stop the cries of their community.

“It is not happening to us now but tomorrow it can happen you,” she said

Ms Ismail encouraged neighbours to support each other and that they should stand up for the victims – for those who are silent. “We are here to help them break the silence and to help them. Let us open our doors for each other,” she said.

“As a mother I feel it because tomorrow it can be my daughter, it can be my son, it can be my mother, it can be my aunty it can even be me.”

Lentegeur CPF chairperson Byron de Villiers told the Plainsman on Monday September 2 that they want justice for Baby C.

Mr De Villiers said during their campaign to collect signatures to refuse bail for the suspect in this case, many victims have come forward for help and support.

The Plainsman asked the NPA to respond to the prevalent feeling in the community that the “wheels of justice turned slowly”.

Mr Ntabazalila said the high crime rate and the incoming work proved that they were inundated with serious crime in all courts in the country.

“A case can take years to finalise because of several other factors – availability of witnesses, presiding officers, defence attorneys and accused and the complexity of the case, etc, are just to name but a few,” he said.

Mr De Villiers said these were just excuses and not reasons.