Action Society lodges complaint at Western Cape SAPS Service Complaint Centre about investigative neglect in four-year-old Mia Botha’s murder case on 500 day anniversary of her murder

Action Society lodged a complaint at the Western Cape South African Police Service (SAPS) Service Complaint Centre today, 500 days after the brutal murder of four-year-old Tamia (Mia) Botha. The complaint follows a series of enquiries made by Action Society on behalf of Mia’s family, regarding the investigative neglect of Mia’s murder case. Various Action Society letters to the Western Cape SAPS as well as the Western Cape commissioner of police have fallen on deaf ears.

“Action Society demands an explanation for the lack of further investigation into Mia’s case and the shocking lack of communication and feedback about her case to Mia’s family and Action Society, who was mandated to oversee her case shortly after her death. Investigative and forensic neglect continues to plague this murder investigation. Besides questioning two suspects shortly after Mia’s death, there has been no movement and no feedback. We will not accept that this is the best that SAPS can do. We will continue to demand better for Mia and her family,” said Action Society’s Kaylynn Palm. 

“Today marks 500 days since Mia was kidnapped on September 25, 2022. Her little body was found dumped on a school field on Monday, 26 September 2022. Her murder scene was horrific, to say the least. Her tiny figure was found with a plastic bag wrapped around her neck, and her mouth was stuffed with plastic material. Experiencing the police’s mediocre efforts to assist from the very beginning, Mia’s heartbroken mother felt she had nowhere to turn, and  mandated Action Society to support her and to assist with the investigation to bring the perpetrator(s) to book.”

“Our experience thus far has been that the police are actually avoiding giving feedback to Action Society, questioning our mandate to act on behalf of the family. Action Society has, of course, provided the necessary proof of our and in our minds, the delays that have followed, are malicious to the family and harmful to public trust in the police to do their duty. The only conclusion one can make at this point, is that there is no feedback because there has been no investigation. The only way forward is to continue lodging complaints, which we have instructed our legal team to do.”

Timeline of events:

  • 25 September, 2022: Mia goes missing
  • 26 September, 2022: Mia’s body is found
  • 29 September, 2022: Action Society receives a mandate from Mia’s family to oversee the case.
  • 30 September, 2022: Two suspects are questioned, but released
  • 7 October, 2022: Mia’s funeral
  • 2 February, 2023: Action Society instructs its legal team to write an official letter to the SAPS Western Cape Provincial Commissioner about feedback on Mia Botha’s murder case.
  • 25 March, 2023: 6 months with no feedback, despite enquiring
  • 25 September, 2023: 1 year with no feedback, despite enquiring
  • 22 January 2024: Action Society sends an urgent letter to the Western Cape commissioner of police demanding an explanation as to why investigative and forensic neglect continues to plagues the investigation.
  • 7 February, 2024: 500 days since Mia’s death; Action Society lodges complaint.
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