JOHANNESBURG – While the nation still mourns the tragic death of Karabo Mokoena, North West police on Sunday announced the discovery of the charred body of a 15-year-old girl.
The girl’s body was found on Sunday in Jouberton after she had gone missing on Saturday.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said the girl apparently left her home on Friday to visit a friend, but then went missing.
He said her identity could not be revealed as her family were yet to be informed of her discovery.
“No one has been arrested, but investigations into the matter are under way,” he said.
This horrific discovery comes in the wake of Mokoena’s tragic death, which has sparked a nationwide outcry focusing on abuse of women and children.
Sandile Mantsoe is standing trial for premeditated murder and defeating the ends of justice for allegedly killing Mokoena and burning her corpse.
During Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza’s visit to Mokoena’s home on Sunday, the deceased’s uncle, Tshepo Mokoena, said Karabo was due to give a talk on the importance of grooming young men to be better members of society.
Tshepo said he was due to launch a programme called Boys to Men, which aimed at developing gender-equitable attitudes and rooting out related violent behaviour.
“I also run a programme called Boys to Men, which was meant to be launched on July 3, and Karabo was meant to be a part of it as a speaker. She said she wanted to come and speak to the boys about how they should behave and how to say no to certain things,” Tshepo said.
“It pains me today that my daughter can’t be part of that. Maybe it’s about time that we as men should stand up and talk to our young boys to say that if a girl says no, you must just walk away. It’s not just about the government, it’s also about us as men.”
He said the family were still reeling in shock and disbelief at the manner that their daughter was killed.
“Women are strong human beings, they will always stand up and they will always talk. But we as men always encourage each other when another man is going through hardships, but we must now start going to women and ask them how can we start working together. I’m sure this will send a message that we must start connecting to find out how we can overcome situations,” he said.
He could not believe he and his family had been subjected to the same ills they had preached against.
“I am hurting because all the things I have been preaching in Boys to Men have happened to me and have hit me right in the face. I could not believe it because I have been trying to stop it. Maybe it is God testing my faith. But I will now stand in the forefront and work harder to tackle these issues. We must tell our boys that no is no,” Tshepo said.
Mayathula-Khoza echoed Tshepo’s sentiments and said her department would be focusing on imparting principles in boys and young men that would see them being better members of society.
“We can’t continue to focus on girl children; now it’s important to focus on boy children so that they can grow up to respect their counterparts, and grow up to know that we now have gender equality,” Mayathula-Khoza said.
She said her department would intensify programmes that aim to prevent the abuse of women and children.
Mayathula-Khoza added that communities needed to be more proactive in rooting out the scourge of woman abuse to prevent a repetition of these incidents.
“The law can take its cause, but if this continues, what are we saying as a society? We need to hold hands together for these social ills to be combated in our society,” she said.
Karabo’s memorial service will be held on Wednesday at Diepkloof Hall while her funeral will be on Friday at the same venue.
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