Fritz: Violence against children unacceptable

Social Development MEC Albert Fritz has called for harsher punishment for child abusers.

FILE: Delft community members marched on 14 February 2014 to raise awareness about child safety following another murder in the area. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Social Development MEC Albert Fritz has renewed calls for drastic intervention to protect children in the Western Cape.

Fritz on Friday visited the family of Elihle Hlanjwa, who died in hospital earlier this week, after she was raped and set alight in Delft.

She was found on a pile of rocks in a bush in January.

Fritz says authorities and communities should work together.

He says attacks on children are a daily occurrence and cannot be tolerated any longer.

"We need aggressive policing who can conduct proper investigations. And when people are convicted, they should stay as long as possible in prison."

Authorities, Delft residents and family members came together at the nine-year-old's house on Friday.

The family said up until they heard the sad news at around 4am Tuesday morning, they were hopeful that she would survive.

Elihle, known by her loved ones as 'Queen', fought for her life for two months in hospital following her brutal attack.

Her aunt Zandiswa Mthekeli says since the incident there appears to be much more awareness around child safety in the area.

"The awareness will make the parents always keep an eye on their children."

The girl will be laid to rest next Friday.

A 27-year-old man is in jail in connection with the incident and is expected in court next Thursday.

There have been a series of attacks on children in the area since the beginning of the year.

In a separate incident in Delft, a three-year-old girl was raped, allegedly by her neighbour.