President Cyril Ramaphosa has dispatched one of his top advisers to deal with the shocking and embarrassing incident in which a brutally raped and murdered toddler’s family was built a wendy house after his visit.
Ramaphosa told the ANC’s men’s dialogue aimed at taking concrete actions towards gender equality and the elimination of the gender-based violence and femicide scourge on Friday night that his social policy adviser, Professor Olive Shisana would be in touch with 8-year-old Tazne van Wyk’s family from Ravensmead in Cape Town.
Tazne was raped and murdered in Worcester in the Western Cape in February, allegedly by 54-year-old Moehydien Pangaker.
Ramaphosa and a delegation of his executive visited her family after the incident and made several, mostly still unfulfilled, promises.
“And we are going to take this matter forward and we are going to see to it that what we did say to you will happen,” the president promised again.
Ramaphosa was responding to complaints by Tazne’s mother, Zelda van Wyk, who told the webinar of the pain and suffering her family had experienced since Ramaphosa made his promises.
She complained that she had not heard from the government officials, as promised by Ramaphosa, and that the court case was not proceeding smoothly, as she had expected it would.
Van Wyk said her family and Tazne’s father were the ones being treated as if they were criminals and that police officers were very disrespectful.
Ramaphosa expressed his shock at being informed that the family had been built a wendy house after his administration promised it would improve their living conditions during his visit following Tazne’s rape and murder in February.
“And Ms Van Wyk, I’m delighted that you are here tonight.
“Just in this (last) week, I dealt with the matter that you have raised.
“I want to apologise to you that since I last visited your home and came to pay condolences and … to soothe your pain, your acute pain, which I am sure continues till now …
“Yes, we looked at the circumstances of your living and I made certain pronouncements,” he said.
Ramaphosa added: “I am very sorry and embarrassed that has not happened.
“This very (last) week I was asked … somebody came to ask and say did we say we are going to build a wendy house for the Van Wyk family. I said there’s just no way that I could ever have said that we are going to build a wendy house.”
Police Minister Bheki Cele said Tazne’s mother complained about how her husband was treated.
”We did go to the police station to deal with the police on that matter; maybe we will have to follow up because if I remember very well, she raised the matter and we tried to deal with the matter.
“Maybe what we haven’t done is to follow up on the matter … as I stand here, we will have to follow up on the matter,” he said.
Cele also revealed shocking details of the sexual violence ravaging the country, saying 18 221 rape victims were violated in their own homes or those of neighbours or relatives.
Cele said this meant they were raped by people they knew.
Another 308 rapes occurred at educational institutions, including 16 at government premises, he said.
Ramaphosa said the men’s dialogue should include all nine provinces.
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