Arrest of suspects in school murder case welcomed

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pretoria - Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana has welcomed the arrest of three suspects in connection to the murder of three school girls at Makgwareng section in Nobody Village outside Polokwane.

The three learners from Ramathope Secondary School, Kedibone Ledwaba, 16, Refilwe Mampshika, 15 and her cousin Seipati, 16, were found dead after they went missing on 2 May 2011.

The girls had left their homes to go to a local clinic but did not return home. The three suspects, two men and a woman were arrested on Friday.

Xingwana commended the intensive effort by the police to ensure that the brutal murderers were put behind bars before the girls' burial.

"This is a demonstration of government's commitment to deal with crimes against women and children, we urge the court not to grant these people bail as most often, rape and murder suspects go out and rape and murder more children if they are granted bail," Xingwana told hundreds of mourners at the girls' funeral on Saturday.

She pointed out that South Africa's long history of violence has compromised the right of the children to grow up in a safe and secure environment leading to high occurrence of criminal violence, with severe consequences for children.

She further urged the community to work together with the police to eradicate crime in the area and walk with their eyes and ears opened.

"Any child should be looked after by all members of the community, your child is my child, and my child is your child. Let us go back to our beautiful culture - that of adopting any child as your own."

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