NELSON MANDELA CHILDREN’S FUND CALLS FOR SWIFT ACTION IN THE APPREHENSION OF CHILDREN’S MURDERERS
Johannesburg: Friday, 21 April 2023: The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF), like most South Africans, is horrified about the brutal murder of two young boys in Soweto. The NMCF condemns these murders in the strongest possible terms.
We call for calm and for Soweto residents not to take the law into their hands, and equally call for law enforcement agencies to ensure that the streets are safe and that everyone, particularly children, can safely play in them without being kidnapped and mutilated.
The NMCF sends its heartfelt commiserations to the Ndlovu and Zulu families during this difficult time. The names of Tshiamo Ndlovu (6) and Nqobizitha Zulu (5) should forever be etched in our memories and cause us to act decisively as a country to stem the continuing high levels of violent crimes against children in South Africa, with some cases failing to see any arrest or successful prosecution of those charged.
Tshiamo and Nqobizitha’s lives have been brutally cut short by criminals and may their innocent souls not rest in peace but continue to haunt us all until we all do our part to ensure that every child in South Africa is safe and protected.
As the NMCF, we have always believed children should be allowed to be themselves, and not be brutalised into fear of not playing in the streets, as they live in a society that’s largely bedevilled by fear, largely driven by criminal elements committing acts of criminality with no fear of being arrested or sent to jail.
Our late former President Nelson Mandela, the founder of NMCF once said: “There is no keener revelation of the soul of a society than in the way it treats its children”.
Linda Ncube-Nkomo, the Chief Executive Officer of NMCF went on to say that a society that brutalises children has no soul. We can do better. We must do better. We should see our children as precious and allow them to be just that – children who can be safe and protected in the places where they live, learn and play.”
The NMCF is gravely concerned that the suspected reasons of Tshiamo and Nqobizitha’s gruesome killings are linked to muti rituals. Muti killings have in recent years been one of the growing scourges in South Africa and across African continent, a tragic situation that needs urgent attention as it continues to target, mostly women and children. The safety and protection of children needs to be given urgent attention now if we are to get to a point where society starts to change the way it treats its children.
Ncube-Nkomo concluded by saying every South African has a responsibility to create safe spaces homes, schools, and communities for children, and this cannot be left to the law enforcement agencies. We need to treat every child as if they are our own. “Having said that, we still expect a competent police service that would work around the clock, with the clear goal of seeing these murderers behind bars, and a justice system that will ensure that justice for the departed is served.”
NELSON MANDELA CHILDREN’S FUND TAKES SIX CHILDREN TO THE AFRICA CHILDREN’S SUMMIT
On Thursday, 13 April 2023, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund) returned from Nairobi, Kenya, with six children from South Africa who participated in the inaugural Africa Children’s Summit.
This forum is a continental initiative driven by children from Kenya and sought to give children a platform for participation and to have their voices heard on child-related issues.
CEO of the Fund, Dr Linda Ncube-Nkomo, says the Summit aligns with the organisation’s goals to enhance child participation in decisions that affect them. “Children and young people in South Africa and other parts of the world face a myriad of challenges, including high unemployment, poverty, education inequality, lack of access to mentorship programmes, and a lack of participation in decision-making processes at local to global levels. In this Summit children had the opportunity to raise some of these issues and provide child-led solutions to these challenges. Children did not participate in the Summit; they led every aspect of it in line with the theme of, Sseen.Heard.Engaged”.
The group from South Africa, chosen by the Fund, joined others from the continent and made presentations as well as contributions on the unique challenges they face; interventions by their governments and shared recommendations or solutions.
“This has been great for me. I like the fact that the Summit was planned by us children, we led in the moderation and the writing of the outcome statement at the end,” says Segopotso Marine, one of the child participants from the Fund.
The statement representing summarised views and outcomes from the event will be produced. It will be used to inform deliberations at the African Union and the United Nations Offices that are focused on child rights.
Prof Phillip Jaffer, Vice Chair at the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child says, “We have heard the voices of the children of Africa. Not only do they want to be heard and seen but also participate in decision making processes that affect their lives and communities. We will be taking this message as it is to the United Nations”.
Following the event, selected children will participate in the Africa Children’s Committee in Lesotho during the last week of April to the beginning of May 2023 where they will address the expert committee members.
The Fund is also a member of the fifth General Assembly of the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Commission (AU-ECOSOCC) and is currently working to obtain an observer status with the AU-African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission).
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