By Jonk wa Mashamba
During a candlelight ceremony held at 20 Roosevelt in honor of murdered Simphiwe (9),
Daniel Thamaga, a local resident said: “In this area, we learned how to swim when we were kids. This was an entertainment zone. But today, this place is scary because the lives of our children are lost here.”
Simpiwe, described as mentally challenged, was a resident at 18th avenue, Alexandra.
Prior to her being found, supposedly by Mgeresi, her family had reported her missing on Friday.
Neighbors, police, councillor Adolph Marema, philanthropist Linda Twala, ANC Women’s Leaque, and many others paid tribute to the child whose death affected many lives.
Thamaga warned that the man who committed this heinous crime would be found.
He said everything people do in private has a way of getting out.
“This case cannot disappear. A person is always followed by his actions. If you do good, the good will come after you. If you do wrong, the wrong things will follow you as well. This murderer will be found in the end, no matter what,” he said.
Thamaga said the reason he spoke was because he represented fathers.
“But I don’t represent useless dads, like whoever did this. I represent responsible ones”
He underlined that not every father was cruel. “There are great dads out there. However, there is something that needs to be done.
“It is not every father who wears a trouser is complete. I’m not sure who will fix this… the government or who? Some are fathers because they have children, but they do not know what a father is responsible for.
“He can’t look after his wife and kids. Every time he calls his children, he insults them. He cannot even be kind to his wife; he is always cruel and threatening.
” I would be glad if we can have programs or workshops whereby every month fathers and male youngsters are gathered and be educated on how to become a real father.
“Because, there is a man who does not know how to treat his children and wife appropriately. He can only cook, clean and have sex… that’s what he knows.
“He doesn’t know that a woman needs his support so that she would raise their children correctly. So these workshops will be useful,” he said.
Nthabiseng Mhlongo, a member of ward 116 ANCWL ,said that it was painful for mothers to meet due to the death of a child.
She said it pains a mother to lose her child in this way. She reminded mothers to be interested in knowing where their children are going whenever they leave home.
She also asked for the unity among mothers. “Let us consider this tragedy as our burden as well.”
While acknowledging there were great fathers out there, she said mothers were scared of fathers.
“We are so scared of you. You have become animals! We don’t know if some fathers grew up being abused or not.
“But, they shouldn’t avenge on our children, because these kids know nothing,” said Mhlongo.
“However, we don’t paint you with the same brush, because there are great fathers out there.”
Idah Kunene, a family member, said she was very shattered by the tragedy. She also echoed the same sentiment that fathers had turned into monsters.
“When fathers see us, they see something to murder, something to use or play with. How can we raise our children if we keep them indoors?
“A child has to be free and play, so that they will grow properly. Just imagine, as a man, you see a wife in a girl who is 9 years old!
” You are a coward. Anger is not going to solve your problems. Go and talk to other men… men up.”
Kunene, also pleaded with mothers to unite and make other women’s sufferings theirs.
” A pain of another woman must be your pain as well. I’m very sorry, but am happy for the spirit of the this child, because she has fought.
“The culprit thought she would be swept away by water and end up not being found. But the spirit and flesh of this child said no!”
Councillor Marema said what happened to Simphiwe had to stop.
” At some point, the community needs to stand up and do something about what is happening.”
Bab Twala said in honor of the mother of Simphiwe, he needed support so that she gets a house.
“What happened to the Vilakazis is very bad. We used to be from first to 20 avenues without being robbed, but now I can’t even send my kids to the store. If a girl is 13 years, she is a target.”
Twala said women had to put an end to the horrific tradition of pulling each other down.