“It is an absolute disgrace for the police to torture the bereaved parents of a murdered little girl,” said Kaylynn Palm, Action Centre Coordinator at Action Society. “It has been more than six weeks, and the police refuse to give her parents or Action Society any updates about Mia Botha’s murder investigation.”
Action Society now turned to the Western Cape commissioner of police to step in. Shortly after Mia’s body was found, Action Society received a mandate from Mia’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 26 September after the four-year-old went missing the previous day.
“We respected the police to follow due process, but there are so many indications that the police are dragging their feet, we cannot keep quiet,” said Palm. “Not at the cost of her parents and the memory of Mia.”
Action Society demands clarity about the arrest of two suspects shortly after her body was found. They were to appear in the Paarl Magistrates court on 30 September 2022, but to date, neither had been formally charged nor brought before the court. Furthermore, we want to know if any other suspects have been identified, if the police followed up on all possible leads and what exactly is delaying the case.
“If the delay has to do with DNA, we want to know if the DNA backlog plays any role in denying Mia justice,” said Palm. “If DNA was found on her body, it could obviously be used to identify a suspect. But if there is a processing delay, that could delay the whole case. As a result, the murderer could be roaming free and attack another toddler. It is unacceptable.”