6-year-old Nathlia Pienaar’s crime was innocence and her skipping rope. A stray bullet, likely from a gang member, stopped her happiness at her home gate on Saturday, in Lavender Hill, Cape Town. Brain dead on hospital arrival. Dead everything, 7 hours later.
Is she just a statistic in the child murder capital of the world… or should she be every child needing protection?
Fadiel Adams, from Gatvol Capetonians, made emotional statement on Facebook:
“A six year old girl has been shot dead, the price we pay for something as mundane as standing at the gate. Believe it or not, for some of us standing at the gate is the only reprieve we have from the hellish overcrowded conditions we live in.
Let me assure you that if this girl had blonde hair, had a prestigious address or family money, we would have had the Premier showing his grief in public. But she didn’t. Her parents were poor, she lived in a shithole called Lavender Hill, and therefore her life, and her death, mean little or less.
Losing our best is sadly an everyday occurrence on the Cape Flats. It’s one of the few guarantees we have – violent death, unemployment and overcrowding.
Different spheres of government will play the blame game. Political parties will try to score points. But the fact is you’ve all failed us, and we now have another baby to bury (that is, after all, what she was).
I don’t look forward to the generic response from SAPS, the one that says “a murder docket has been opened and no arrests have been made”.
I don’t look forward to JP Smith saying that policing is a national competency.
I don’t look forward to the next bout of grief caused by premature death, caused by your incompetence, all of you.
Government has repeatedly shown that it doesn’t share our vision of kids burying their parents.
We, the people, should take back our streets, reclaim our destiny. We should be prepared to pay any price, for the price we are expected to pay by the status quo is too high.
We need space so our children can play, so that they can be children. So that children can turn into doctors – not inmates, not statistics.
While the looting continues at national level and Ou Baas determines our future at provincial level, we will continue to watch warm, loving children turn into cold statistics.
We cannot afford to let another generation die because of our own lack of confidence. Remember, the baby we lost today was only six years old.”
The sad story of Nathlia Pienaar is representative of something much bigger, a provincial and national tragedy that never ends. Approximately 160 people were killed in Cape Town the past month. On average, 4 children have been killed weekly in the Western Cape for the past 5 years. 128 of those were under the age of 5.
You can comment on my related Facebook post.