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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist

SAHRC condemns recent attacks against the elderly

The SAHRC called for the passing of the Older Persons Amendment Bill to protect the elderly.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has condemned the recent violent crimes committed against the elderly across the country and urged police to act swiftly in bringing the guilty to book.

In a statement on Wednesday, the commission decried the recent alleged killing of an elderly resident and allegations of rape at Ipeleng Bagodi old age home in the North West.

It also slammed the 19-year-old man who was filmed allegedly assaulting his grandmother, as well as the reported rape and stabbing of an 83-year-old woman in Mpumalanga.

ALSO READ: Grandmother ‘fearing for her life’ after assault, NPA opposes bail for ‘suicidal’ teen

Abusing the vulnerable

These acts demonstrate that the elderly are not safe, the SAHRC said.

“Despite legal protections, older persons face various challenges as a vulnerable group with unique and differing needs,” the commission said.

“It is distressing that older persons are experiencing abuse from individuals in their communities who should be providing support and protection.”

The Older Persons Act aims to uphold the rights of older persons and ensure their well-being, safety, and security.

“The recent attacks on older persons are regrettable, and the Commission has emphasised the importance of the Older Persons Amendment Bill, which seeks to safeguard the rights and welfare of older persons comprehensively.”

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The SAHRC said it endorses the Bill as it addresses immediate and sensitive intervention in cases of abuse and mandates the provision of temporary safe care and removal from dangerous environments, which is crucial for immediate protection.

The Commission acknowledged the swift responses of the police in various incidents and urged those who witness such events to be cautious when capturing evidence.

It also called for communities to work together to ensure the protection of older persons and to create a safe environment for the elderly, upholding their dignity and rights.

“Failure to report abuse of an older person is a punishable crime,” the SAHRC warned.

‘Why are you killing me?’

A 19-year-old teenager was arrested for allegedly assaulting his grandmother in her home in Kraaifontein last month.

A video of the alleged incident circulated on social media in July this year, causing a public outcry.

In the video, the woman asks her grandson: “What are you using to cook and where did you get the food you’re cooking? Why are you killing me? Beat me to death since you were sent to kill me in my own house.”

Another rape while on bail

Meanwhile, three months after he was arrested for residential burglary, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and the rape of an 83-year-old woman, a man appeared before Dientjie Periodical Court for similar charges.

The 25-year-old suspect had allegedly broken into another 77-year-old woman’s house last Wednesday, “brutally assaulting the vulnerable granny” and repeatedly raping her for two days at Dikweteng village, Dientjie, police said.

Additional reporting by Vhahangwele Nemakonde.

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