The IFP National Women’s Brigade is deeply saddened by yet another loss of an innocent child at the hands of cold-blooded killers.
Seven-year-old Philasande Shange will not be joining his friends for the 2023 school year. His parent’s dreams for him lie shattered, as they cry bitter tears. Philasande went missing while playing with other children in Ntshawini, KwaDukuza on 5 January 2023. Tragically, his mutilated remains were found days later, ending all hope for his safe return home.
Philasande Shange is one of many children who go missing in South Africa and whose stories have a grisly and tragic end.
As the IFP National Women’s Brigade, we are raising our voices to not only condemn this heinous killing of an innocent child, but to call for harsher punishment for perpetrators, as well as greater vigilance and enhanced protection of our children.
We cannot continue as normal when senseless acts of violence are perpetrated against our most vulnerable. There is an African proverb that calls on us all to collectively protect our children: “It takes a village to raise a child”. Now, more than ever, with the challenges of single parenthood, grandmother-headed homes and child-headed homes, we have to lend practical articulation to this and ensure that we support those to whom our children are entrusted.
We should ensure that we create awareness of that which threatens the safety of our children, not only during the ‘16 days of Activism Campaign for No Violence Against Women and Children’, but on a daily basis. Philasande Shange’s untimely death at the hands of individuals devoid of humanity and morality should not be in vain.
We call on law enforcement agents to work swiftly and apprehend Philasande’s killers, as no child is safe as long as child killers walk freely on our streets. We should not sit back and wait for another young life to be snuffed out. With every child killing, we are failing our future leaders and teeter dangerously on the brink of a future drenched in blood and tainted by fear.
It is time for decisive action to protect our children so that they do not become mere statistics of gruesome crimes, like Philasande Shange.
I call on all NGOs, CBOs, faith-based organisations and other stakeholders to join the IFP National Women’s Brigade in the fight to root out morally bankrupt individuals who prey on innocent children. We have to restore our children’s faith in our potential to keep them safe. Together, we can give children the childhood they deserve – one where their laughter and joy is palpable, not screams of terror and anguish.
The IFP National Women’s Brigade extends its heartfelt condolences to the family of Philasande Shange. We pray that the Almighty brings healing, comfort, and peace to them during this sad time of bereavement.
Hon. Princess Phumzile Buthelezi, MPL
IFP National Women’s Brigade Chairperson
073 216 0918