Action Society received a mandate from Tamia (Mia) Botha’s family to support and act as a watching brief to oversee the prosecution on behalf of the family. Mia was found murdered in Nederburg, Paarl, on Monday after the four-year-old went missing the previous day.
The police have arrested two suspects, and Action Society will attend the court proceedings when they appear tomorrow morning.
“Even though we, along with the community, are furious and saddened about the situation, we will respect the Child Protection Unit’s investigation,” said Ian Cameron, director of community safety at Action Society.
Action Society visited Mia’s bereaved and devasted family to convey condolences. They describe her as a chatty, friendly girl. They last saw her Sunday afternoon while playing outside near the house. Her mother, Udene, says she became concerned after a while and instructed her son to look for his sister, but he could not find her. Udene and her family and friends started to look for Mia, but load-shedding made the task very difficult as the neighbourhood turned dark.
Botha could not fall asleep after the police brought her home, and, along with the community, she searched for Mia again early in the morning. They had many false alarms throughout the day, but Mia’s body was found in the afternoon.
Botha said she refused to look at the body but could see her child’s legs and the navy-blue boots with fur inside. She was in complete shock and broke down.
“I am angry, sad, furious. I hoped to see my little girl alive, not dead in a field,” she told Action Society. “I want the person who did this to be found. We want justice.”
Action Society wants to ensure that the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele and the entire police management start taking the active prevention of child murder and abuse seriously. Three children are murdered in South Africa every day.
“Our message to the minister of police is that every little child you see from now on is a Mia Botha. And you have turned your back on them,” said Cameron. “No child deserves to become part of your murder statistics.
“We will not give up until the guilty party, in this case, receives a just punishment. We will not forget Mia Botha’s name and let her become a number.”