By Jonk wa Mashamba
(Jonk Mashamba is Editor-in-Chief)
The 52-year-old Phasha murdered his own four children
– Katlego, 9, Joyce, 7, Tshepo, 5, and Adel 3 – who were found dead at two separate locations in Selatole section of GaPhasha village near Burgersfort in February 18 last year.
Judge Gerrit Muller sentenced Lucas to life in prison on each count of murder before the Polokwane High court in Limpopo on 4 June 2021.
The Limpopo MEC for Social Development Nkakareng Rakgoale, who preaches against the abuse of children, was also in court.
Rakgoale who supported Monyela family said Lucas must rot in jail.
Lucas had apparently told a relative that he was driven by suspicion that their mother was cheating on him.
This emerged on Wednesday (17 March 2021) in the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane through state witness Raymond Phasha.
Raymond had told the court that the Lucas had told him before his arrest that he killed his four children because his wife was dating other men and that she neglected household duties.
He allegedly hacked three of the children with a panga and bludgeoned the fourth one with a stone.
Lucas allegedly bludgeoned daughter Adel with a stone in a shack while her three siblings were asleep at around 2am at his home.
He took the remaining three children to a secluded area where he allegedly killed them.
“He said he is not going to allow any man to take his children.
“He further said that his children were always hungry as their mother was always away.”
Raymond said he didn’t ask what Lucas meant when he said he was not going to allow another man to take his children. He said Lucas revealed the tidbits to him when he visited him at his hideout in Zebediela after the murders.
Lucas’s lawyer Lawrence Mkhize lost his application to stop Raymond from revealing what the father of the four children told him when he asked why killed the children.
The court further heard that Lucas posted on social media where he accused his wife of cheating on him with several men before the children were killed.
“Days before the children were killed, Phasha posted that a local taxi driver and a builder were wrecking his marriage,” Raymond said when asked by prosecutor Mashudu Mudau.
As the country continues to observe Child Protection Week under the theme: “Let us all protect children during Covid-19 and beyond”, the Commission for Gender Equality has calling on national government to ensure that Thuthuzela Care Centres and other shelters of safety have sufficient capacity to receive victims of domestic violence and their children.
“In 2020 the Commission released a report on the state of shelters in South Africa. Following the Commission’s investigation and hearings, which found that many shelters meant for the safety of gender based violence victims, did not have enough facilities to accommodate abused women and their children,” said CGE chairperson Ms Tamara Mathebula.
The CGE’s investigations also found that many shelters did not receive sufficient funding from government to cover all their interventions.
Mathebula said this is a concern as abused women needed to take their children along when escaping from environments of domestic violence.
“While women are main victims of GBV, their children are secondary victims for obvious reasons,” Mathebula added.
The commission further called on government departments to address the findings contained in a report by the UN committee on the elimination of discrimination against women.
The report has revealed that South Africa committed grave violations under the convention, by failing to protect a significant number of girl children and women from domestic violence and failing to provide them with protection and adequate access to justice.
“The committee recommended that government should avail skills development programmes in shelters in all provinces, and fully implement the recommendations made in the 2019 CGE report on the ‘State of Shelters in South Africa’,” said Mathebula.
The Commission has welcome the adoption by the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, of the Domestic Violence Amendment.
Many children in South Africa live without the support of their parents and this compromises their right to protection and care.
Some of these children live in child-headed households, youth-headed households, granny-headed households and some, if not most, are being raised by one parent – in the majority, their mothers.
Statistics South Africa (2018) published a report: “Children’s education and well-being in South Africa” which looked into the lives of the country’s children under the of age 18.
It revealed that only 31.7% of black children stayed with their biological fathers as compared to their coloured counterparts 51.3 %, 86.1 % Indian or Asian; and 80.2 % of white children.
The report said in these four race groups, between 74% and 92.6 % of children lived with their mothers.
The absence of one parent has a negative impact on children and adolescents who often face an increased risk for developing behavioral challenges.
It has also been established that there are negative effects of social and economic factors prevalent in families where there is an absence of one parent.
Children have a right to both parents irrespective of whether the parents are separated or divorced and regardless of who has a custody of the children, the upbringing of children should be the full responsibility for both parents unless a court determines otherwise.
The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 promotes the active participation of biological fathers in their children’s lives through the following provisions:
Parental responsibilities and rights
Co-exercise of parental responsibilities.
On the 06 June 2021, minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, is expected to close the Child Protection Week campaign.
The main focus of the closing will be on the rights of children to parental care as well as the important role of Child and Youth Care Workers who take care of orphaned and vulnerable children.
The campaig also seeks to raise awareness on issues affecting children’s daily lives – including their constitutional rights to education, care, shelter and human dignity.
According to the statement we have seen, the campaign will give an opportunity for children to raise their voices and challenges by speaking without fear about issues impacting their lives and how they wish the government and other social partners to deal with issues of children.