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By Shanice Naidoo

Digital Journalist

Family murder shock: Young woman allegedly stabs father for beating mother, threatening her

The daughter allegedly killed her father with the same knife he tried to stab her with when she intervened in a family fight.

A 19-year-old woman has appeared at the Giyani Magistrate’s Court on Friday for the alleged murder of her father this week.

Her court appearance follows her arrest on Wednesday, 29 November at Roerfontein Village outside Giyani, Limpopo. 

Police were alerted to the family fighting at around 9.30pm. Upon their arrival at the crime scene, they discovered the lifeless body of a male person with stab wounds on his back body and on right hand.

The victim has been identified by his wife as the 60-year-old Edward Frank Ralekgokgo. 

Domestic violence: Daughter calls on community for help

“According to the information available at this stage, it is alleged that the deceased had a heated argument with his wife. When the daughter realised that her mother was being assaulted, she started shouting for help, so the community could come forward to assist in stopping the fight between the couple,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba.

“Subsequently, the deceased suddenly attacked the suspect with a knife. The suspect managed to get the knife from the deceased and stabbed him.”

The deceased was declared dead on the scene of crime by the paramedics.

READ ALSO: Gruesome murder: Man on the run after chopping mother into pieces 

Cases of parricide

Meanwhile, the shock killing of an elderly Limpopo woman by her son after a heated argument over loud music, has sadly been one of several cases of parricide making headlines lately.

Over last weekend, another apparent case of a son allegedly murdering his mother, surfaced in KwaZulu-Natal.

These cases of alleged domestic violence towards a parent, sadly plays out against the backdrop of our country observing 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which kicked off on Saturday, 25 November.

Speaking to The Citizen, Danie van Loggerenberg, CEO of the National Centre for Child Protection, revealed that he has “definitely observed an uptake in cases of parricide this year”.

Unfortunately, according to Van Loggerenberg, the cases aren’t always reported as such and are merely indicated as murder cases when crime statistics are released.

READ ALSO: Son murders elderly mom after argument over loud music

Why do children commit this heinous crime?

Van Loggerenberg unpacked some of the reasons which could possibly serve as the trigger for children to commit this heinous crime. In some chilling cases, he said, a child might even go as far as killing their parent just to “fit in”.

He added that they also record an overwhelming amount of reports of “children hitting, kicking, biting, and threatening their parents”.

  • Long-term abuseParents rarely appear to be the targets of their children’s rage. But when a child does kill his or her parent, one of the main reasons found is due to the years of abuse that the child endured.
  • Jealousy of other siblings: In South Africa we have seen cases where a sibling becomes jealous of the relationship their sibling(s) have with their parents. That obsession drives them to murder the parents and sibling(s).
  • In abusive households’ children witness one parent suffer at the hands of the other parent or a partner. Although this rarely leads to murder, it does impact the way a child treats their abused parent.
  • Children who suffer from a severe mental illness can be found murdering or harming their siblings/parents. They tend to lack impulse control and in turn cannot rationalise their behaviour nor their thoughts. This often leads them into hurting others or to committing a crime.
  • Overly strict parents: the treatment a child receives, and lack of freedom might just drive them to murder. When parents do not allow their children any freedom, this may cause them to resent their parents. And after years of this built-up tension, the child eventually reaches breaking point and explodes. This is when accidents such as killing a parent may occur. 
  • When a child does not feel heard nor understood, it most certainly contributes towards the treatment they hand out in return to their parents. 

 Van Loggerenberg said that if a parent does not attend to a child’s needs from birth, it causes the child to develop an insecure attachment style.

“This kind of attachment impacts the child and the way in which they interact and treat others. They often struggle to relate, connect, and understand others. This adds to them struggling to form meaningful relationships with others when combined with a lack of empathy. A murderer often lacks empathy,” he explained. 

  • Socio-economic factors are at play, stress and family tension may be high in the fight to survive poverty. 
  • Children have access to a wide range of information made readily available to them and the rest of the world. Social media apps, such as TikTok, have a very clever way of getting people hooked after just a few swipes. The child being eager to keep up with what is trending in the world, regularly checks up on the trends. Influencers market certain products and try out different things. 

READ ALSO: 16 Days of Activism: Expert unpacks shock rise in children killing their parents

 “Sometimes there are challenges that are created, and children often see these challenges and then copy them. Some of these challenges are risky and dangerous, and without any parental supervision a child sees and then tries it at home and this often ends in tragedy,” Van Loggerenberg continued. 

Former Durban Youth Radio presenter Andy Kerr was arrested at the weekend after his mother was found dead in their home in Hazelmere, Durban.

Neighbours became worried when the elderly woman seemed to have disappeared. After neighbours called authorities, her decomposing body was found on a bed.

Kerr, however, claimed she had died from natural causes.

In another incident this month, a 37-year-old man in Limpopo allegedly murdered his elderly mother after an argument over loud music.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba said they have opened a case of murder.

According to Mashaba, the victim was with her 17-year-old grandson when the suspect arrived and played music loudly. The elderly woman tried to reprimand her son, but he became aggressive and allegedly started physically attacking her.

READ ALSO: Ruan van Heerden gets 25 years in jail for killing his mother

In October, a 16-year-old boy in Nomzamo, Strand in Cape Town allegedly murdered his 46-year-old mother by stabbing her in the neck. Drugs are suspected to have triggered the teen’s action.

Also in October, a 21-year-old man was arrested for his father’s murder and mutilating his body. In this case it was reported that the man is mentally-ill.

In Durban, a teenage boy was arrested for hitting his father with a hammer after an argument.

In May, a 21-year-old man in Hillcrest, Durban stabbed his father to death following an altercation.

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