Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane urged parents and caregivers to ensure that children were properly cared for and not left unattended during the lockdown.
Nkoana-Mashabane said in a statement on Wednesday: “It was reported that a six-year-old girl Sinakhokonke Madiya has died after she was raped and strangled at Ezingolweni, on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.
“Another case reported is that of 11-year-old Tiyiselani Rikhotso from Ndengeza village, about 40km west of Giyani in Limpopo. She was reported missing on Sunday and her body was found on Tuesday in the Klein Letaba Dam with several deep wounds on her body.”
Nkoana-Mashabane offered her condolences to families and friends of all victims who lost their lives due to gender-based violence and urged parents and caregivers to have planned activities that will keep their children meaningfully occupied during this period.
“We would like to see a situation where children are not exposed to violent and harmful content, inappropriate and sexual content and also limit time spent on electronic devices,” said Nkoana-Mashabane.
The minister said it was a time which required all members of society to remain vigilant over the safety of our children, women and persons with disabilities.
“During this lockdown period, parents and guardians are encouraged to keep children safe at home. Children should not be socialising or playing in groups during this time. This must be done to ensure we slow down the infection rate,” she said.
Nkoana-Mashabane said measures were put in place after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a lockdown on Monday.
“Since the national disaster was declared, government have put in place a range of regulations and directives.
“These regulations have restricted international travel, prohibited gatherings of more than 100 people, closed schools and other educational institutions and restricted the sale of alcohol after 6pm to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
Nkoana-Mashabane said it was a decisive measure to save many South Africans from infection and save the lives of potentially hundreds of thousands of people.
She said while society at large had heeded the call made by government to minimise socialising and to remain at home, containment of the virus requires parents and caregivers to ensure a safe and healthy environment for their children.