Slain Courtney Pieters' mom, Juanita.
The speaker of the National Assembly yesterday invited family members of victims of some of the most violent crimes to hit the Cape Flats, and South Africa, to Parliament, “to give them recognition and remind them they are not alone.”

The session was not open to the media or the public, as families of murdered children such as little Courtney Pieters spoke of their heartache and in some instances, their disappointment in police and government, says Roegshanda Pascoe of Manenberg Safety Forum.

She says Speaker Baleka Mbete told the families it is difficult to lose a loved one and the road to healing and justice is not always easy.

Mbete said she and the other members of Parliament who attended the sitting “acknowledged the hardship the families are facing”.

Roegshanda says Courtney’s bereaved mom, Juanita Pieters, was “overwhelmed”.

“It was a nerve-wrecking experience. Juanita was so overwhelmed she could not speak and cried as her pain and loss was seen by people we see on the TV all the time.”

She says although it was too late for Courtney and children like Rene-Tracey Roman, 13, of Lavender Hill, Iyapha Yamile, 4, of Khayelitsha and Stacha Arends, 11, of Tafelsig, their deaths will not be in vain, as people and government officials are taking action.

“We are grateful that Courtney, Stacha, Rene and Karabo Makoena have left a mark and changed people’s lives forever.”