By Dr. Tutu Faleni (MPL), DA North West Spokesperson on Social Development:
The Democratic Alliance in North West is commemorating the lives of four children who died in the period between 27 October 2011 and 8 November 2011.
The four Mmupele children form Verdwaal, outside Lichtenburg – Onkarabile (2), Nkune (6), Sebengu(9) and Mapule (7) their sister died and their post-mortem reports revealed they had suffered from starvation and dehydration after they walked approximately 10km – 14km searching for their mother who had walked earlier to go and collect food for her hungry family.
On 27 October 2011, the bodies of the two younger children were found and the other children’s bodies were found 11 days later, next to a field where a farmer was ploughing.
The DA will make sure nobody forget the Mmupele children who represent the plight of many other vulnerable children in our country.
Therefore, the party’s provincial leadership last week undertook the last route taken by the children and paid a visit to their family.
The journey did not only commemorate their lives but also honoured their memory and the thousands who are still suffering.
These deaths is an indictment for our collective failure as a nation to take care of our children.
The tragedy of the four children received extensive media coverage nationally and internationally and it was revealed that almost the entire community of 4 000 people in Verdwaal were undocumented, leaving them unable to access services such as social grants.
The Democratic Alliance contends that the need to develop sustainable interventions to issues of hunger, poverty and social deprivation in Verdwaal remain urgent.
We will support all agencies who work towards finding sustainable solutions towards socio economic challenges faced by the Verdwaal community.
In order to assess the impact of government interventions in Verdwaal, the DA will ask Social Development MEC, Fenny Gaolaolwe, questions on the number of people who access social grants and also the number of families who receive food parcels from the department to ensure that every deserving family is taken care of.