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Diepsloot murders: Cops probe child neglect

If it’s found the children were neglected, their parents will be charged with child neglect.

Police are investigating the possibility the two murdered Diepsloot toddlers may have been neglected before they went missing. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Acting Gauteng Police Commissioner Lesetja Mothiba says police are now investigating the possibility that the two Diepsloot toddlers who were brutally murdered this week might have been neglected before they went missing.

Yonelisa Mali (2) and her cousin Zandile Mali (3) were apparently mutilated before their bodies were dumped.

The bodies of the children were recovered from a toilet cubicle in Extension One on Tuesday morning and police say they were raped and mutilated.

At least three men are being held in police custody for questioning and a decision on whether or not to charge them will be taken in the next 12 hours.

Mothiba says, if it's found the children were neglected before they disappeared from their home, their parents will be charged with child neglect.

"The police are calling on parents, especially mothers, to fulfil their responsibilities in caring for and looking after their children. If it's found in the investigation there was lack of parental supervision, we will not hesitate to charge the parents."

KATLEHONG MOTHER MIGHT BE SUSPECT

Meanwhile, police are investigating the role of the 26-year-old mother in the death of her two children who were found dead in an abandoned building in Zonkizizwe in Katlehong on Wednesday.

Police say authorities can't rule out the possibility that she could be a suspect in the crime.

The two sisters, aged one and three, were found dead by a community member.

Police say the father is the main suspect at this stage, after the mother told authorities she believed he wanted to poison her and their children with a bottle of juice.

The woman, who had to be admitted to hospital, told the police she and her two daughters visited their father in Emalahleni, when she discovered he had another woman.

The parents had a fight and the woman and her two children were allegedly dropped off along the side of the road in Katlehong.

Mothiba said, "Preliminary investigation has proved that there might be discrepancies in the mother's version of events which has inaccurate information."

Police say the father will be taken in for questioning as soon as his whereabouts are known.

ZUMA CALLS FOR CALM

President Jacob Zuma says he's shocked by the murders of four children in Diepsloot and Katlehong and says such cruelty should not go unpunished.

While appealing for calm Zuma has called for those responsible for the crimes to be brought to book.

"We urge communities to contain their anger and exercise restraint because such matters must be left to the police to handle."