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Xingwana slams Diepsloot attacks

The minister has vowed to continue the fight for the safety of Diepsloot’s children.

Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana in Diepsloot on 11 November 2013. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana has vowed to continue the fight for the safety of Diepsloot's children.

A string of violent crimes against children in the area have caused a public outcry in recent weeks.

The most recent death is that of a seven-month-old baby boy who was discovered by community members in a shack early on Sunday morning after allegedly being left alone by his mother overnight.

The child was allegedly attacked by rats.

Yesterday, Xingwana joined a prayer march in the area in solidarity with the families of children who've died in the community in recent weeks.

The minister said the events over the past few months were tragic.

"We are saying to the children of Diepsloot that we will do all we can to protect them, but also to educate them and to raise awareness."

She added her department will be visiting numerous schools and working closely with parents to educate both on safety.

The minister, however, warned residents that government's hands will be tied if the community doesn't lead the way in taking responsibility for their children.

In October, the bodies of Diepsloot cousins Zandile and Yonalisa Mali were found dumped inside a communal toilet.

A day later, a newborn baby was dumped in a local stream in Diepsloot extension 6.

In another incident in October, a three-year-old girl was raped after allegedly being left in the care of her father and uncle.

The child's uncle was later arrested in connection with the crime.

Special attention will be placed on Diepsloot during the 16 days of activism against women and child abuse which runs from 25 November until 10 December.

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