Government has applauded and welcomed the life imprisonment sentence handed down to the man convicted of abusing and murdering his former girlfriend's son, Baby Daniel, in 2016.
Government equally welcomed the 20-year sentence that has been imposed on the child's mother by the Gauteng High Court.
“As a nation, we have a right to be outraged by these kinds of barbaric acts of abuse against innocent children and government applauds the criminal justice system for ensuring that perpetrators of these heinous crimes receive harsh sentences,” said government in a statement issued by Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).
The two, Timothy Naidoo and his partner – whose name has not been made known to protect her other children - were convicted of Daniel's murder in December last year in a barbaric act that sent shockwaves throughout the nation.
Daniel suffered a broken elbow, broken femur, injured ribs and second degree burns to 60% of his body.
“Government takes the issue of child abuse and neglect very seriously and as such our country has put in place child protection mechanisms such as legislation and international instruments that South Africa has ratified as a commitment to the protection of children’s rights,” the GCIS said.
Key among these is Section 28 of the Constitution which specifically deals with and lays the foundation of children’s rights.
“This torture suffered by Baby Daniel is one amongst many ills against children, something that could indicate that as society we are failing to protect the most vulnerable,” government said in the statement.
Government called on communities to be vigilant and expose abusers as deafening silence could only serve to encourage these brutal acts against children.
“It is crucial that parents and society be cognisant of the roles that they need to play in protecting children and in exposing any suspected child abuse activities or child exploitation.
“Reporting abuse or neglect of a child can save a life,” the statement read.
Government urged communities to report any suspected child abuse, neglect or exploitation of children to any of the following hotlines:
- SAPS Crime Stop: 08600 10 111
- SMS Crime Line: 32211
- The Department of Social Development’s 24-hour toll free command centre: 0800 428 428 where callers can speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling. Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.
- Child Welfare South Africa: 0861 424453 / 011 452-4110 / e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
- Child Line: 08000 55 555 (tollfree) – SAnews.gov.za