Courtney Pieters, Asheeqah Scott, Jeremiah Ruiters, and this week, Stacey Adams.
These are but a few of the names of little Cape Flats children whose murders have made headlines in the Daily Voice over the past couple of years.
Each case shocking, and each with shocking similarities.
Take a closer look, you’ll find the same tragic story playing itself out over and over again.
The mother or parents are not present and their unsupervised child falls prey to a trusted family friend / boyfriend.
The community is devastated, and shocked that one of their own could be capable of committing such sick acts.
Anger and condemnation are directed at the men, the abusers.
And so it should be. No community must ever condone violent crimes against its children.
These monsters deserve the worst punishment possible.
But they alone are not to blame here.
And sorry to say this while the grief is still fresh, but we must collectively ask the question: Where were the parents?
Where were the parents when Mortimer Saunders poisoned and choked three-year-old Courtney?
Where was Abigail Ruiters when baby Jeremiah was raped and killed, allegedly in the care of her boyfriend Ameerudeen Peters?
Similarly, where was Shakiera Scott when her berk Pieter van Tonder burnt and beat her baby daughter to death?
On Sunday, it was heartbreaking to hear Sasha-Lee Adams blame herself for six-year-old Stacey’s death.
The young Eastridge mom had been at a party in Delft over the weekend when her daughter went missing.
She thought Stacey was staying with her ouma, who, in turn was sure the little girl was with her mom in Delft.
And where was the child? Dead and buried in a neighbour’s backyard.
An all-too familiar story.
Now, what Munier is about to say is not going to win him any friends - especially among single mothers.
But parents must accept that they are the primary caregivers and guardians.
The safety and well-being of their children rests with the mother and father first.
It seems too many adults are quick to abuse the old proverb “it takes a village to raise a child”.
And what do they do? They go out, dumping the kids with the ouma, the neighbours, relatives or friends.
How many grannies out there are full-time moms?
Munier understands it’s hard work being a parent, let alone being a single one.
You need a break, you need help.
But if you have to go to work, do the shopping, or even koel af for a couple of hours - it’s your responsibility to ensure your laaities are in good hands.
Make sure you know where they are, what they’re up to, and whether they have meals.
It’s mom and dad’s responsibility. Not ouma’s or the aunty next door.