South Africans across the country, the social media, the community of Jan Kempdorp and the Northern Cape on Monday August 15th, joined the family of six-year-old Kutlwano Garesape in mourning the brutal death of the young hero.
According to local media, Kutlwano and his mother were walking to school at Jan Kempdorp in the northern Cape when they were attacked on Friday. The child was stabbed repeatedly with a broken bottle by an assailant identified as Tefelo Dikole‚ 32‚ who has already appeared in the Jan Kempdorp Magistrate’s Court.
Segomotso Garesape‚ 42‚ was attacked while walking her two sons‚ aged six and eight‚ to school after they missed their bus. Kutlwano slapped and kicked the man as he attempted to strangle his mother‚ screaming: “Let go of my mommy”
“I heard my child crying out for me and I saw him trying to defend himself with his hands. The man just kept on stabbing him‚”
People from across the country have conveyed their condolences to the family and offered to help them. The attack was met with outrage and heartache on social media.
Daphne Mufamadi tweeted‚ “Im shattered by the Killing of 6 year old Kutlwano Garesape‚ stabbed to death trying to protect his mother”
Community members meanwhile protested outside the court and opposed bail for the accused, calling for him to be kept behind bars. They labelled the attack on Segomotso Garesape and her two young children as a savage act and said the attacker “must pay”.
“This is a small community where we all know each other. The fact that the mother knew the attacker, and he continued to hurt her, is just shocking,” one community member said. ” This angers the community even more as this incident now inflicts fear in all of us and we feel that we are not safe. As a parent, you now really worry about the safety of your children – because this woman and her children were attacked during the morning hours whilst they were walking to school. It is heartbreaking …. as the child died in his mother’s arms.”
The Premier of the Northern Cape, Sylvia Lucas, also expressed her condolences to the family in a statement released on Monday.
“This senseless and insensitive attack comes during a month when we actively advocate for the rights of women. There can be no justifiable reason or explanation for one person to inflict so much pain and suffering on an innocent child. Kutlwano had his whole life ahead of him and one merciless act destroyed the life of a child, that of his parents and the community at large. More disturbing is the fact that this innocent boy was on his way to school to obtain an education. The community of Jan Kempdorp and the Northern Cape has been deprived of a future leader and we thus call on all communities to always stand up and protect the wellbeing of our children. This senseless act cannot and will not be tolerated. The Northern Cape provincial government expresses its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and community at large and calls on especially men to defend and uphold the rights of our women and children. We have full confidence that the law enforcement agencies will deal with the matter in the appropriate manner and with the urgency it deserves,” said Lucas.
Kutlwano’s father, Frank Jacobs, said that the family did not attend court proceedings on Monday as they were at the mortuary in Hartswater. He said they will make an official announcement on Kutlwano’s funeral later.
“We wish to have the funeral this coming Saturday, however, the autopsy is still being conducted and we will afford the law enforcement agencies an opportunity to conclude their investigation. The funeral will be held in Taung but we will release further details later this week,” Jacobs said.
The case was postponed to August 22 for a formal bail application.