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29 May 2023
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MISA horrified by the rape and murder of Matric learner 

 

MISA, the Motor Industry Staff Association, is horrified by the brutal rape and murder of Palesa Malatji (17), a matric learner who was on her way home after attending one of the Department of Basic Education’s compulsory extra classes.

 

Palesa, a Grade 12 pupil at Ntsako Secondary School in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, was attacked days before the start of the annual National Child Protection Week, starting from today till 5 June, to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect.

 

Martlé Keyter, MISA’s Chief Executive Officer: Operations, says the theme for this year is “It is in our hands to stop the cycle of neglect, abuse, violence and exploitation of children.” 

 

“The theme now seems empty if matric learners cannot even attend compulsory extra classes because they don’t know if they will get home safe. Crime against women and children is a sick pandemic. Police Minister Bheki Cele has made so many promises, but it seems we have lost the war,” says Keyter. 

 

Palesa was last seen alive on 25 May when she left school in the afternoon, after attending extra classes. Her body was found near Echibini Secondary School in Soshanguve according to Steve Mabona, Gauteng education spokesperson. 

 

Keyter says kidnappings of children rocketed with 11 702 children kidnapped just in 2022 despite the annual child protection week that has been running for the past 26 years. 

 

“We need to do more as a society to protect our children and work together. Their fate is in our hands. Children are the future of the country. The Constitutional Court ruled that the best interest of a child is of paramount importance in every matter concerning a child. All stakeholders must treat children as such,” says Keyter.

 

MISA launched the helpachild@ms.org.za e-mail address as part of the Union’s awareness campaign. Any person in the retail motor industry can report a child who needs help. All e-mails will be handled confidentially. 

 

According to Keyter kidnappings rocketed by 183%, from 3 832 in the year 2012 till 2013, to 10 826 cases from 2021 to 2022, as confirmed by Cele, over the last ten years. 

 

MISA wants to know, where are our children? What are we doing to find them?

 

Amahle Thabethe has been missing for four years, Lunamandla Sithonga has been missing for nearly three years and Desiree Reid has been missing for over two decades.

 

They are among the 23% of children that are still missing. Only 77% of the children who go missing are found, according to the Missing Children South Africa statistics.

 

Anothando Mhlobo’s (3) body was found a mere 3 metres away from his home in Hout Bay, Cape Town while Boipelo Mesi (9) was found inside a shack not far from her home in Kroonstad in the Free State. 

 

Bokgabo Poo (4) was kidnapped in October 2022 at a local park in Wattville, Benoni before she was raped and murdered. Her body was badly mutilated.

 

MISA wants to encourage all South Africans to adhere to their legal obligation to report child abuse. Mandatory reporting of child abuse in South Africa has been in effect since 2010, with the promulgation of amendment 41 of 2007 to the Children's Act of 2005.

 

Issued on behalf of MISA by Sonja Carstens, MISA’s Media, Liaison and Communication Specialist. Vuyokazi Bam assisted with research. 

 

For MISA Press Releases, phone Carstens on 082 463 6806 or email media@ms.org.za

 

#MISACARES #MISAONTHEMOVE #MISAFAMILY

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