Pretoria — President Jacob Zuma has strongly condemned the "ruthless" killing of three orphaned children whose bodies were found in Naboomspruit in Limpopo at the weekend.
"Such outrageous and inhuman action against defenseless children is a gross violation of the right to human life as enshrined in the Constitution. I am deeply dismayed by this heartless and inexplicable cruelty on children," said Zuma.
The bodies of nine-year-old Bafana Kekana, 10-year-old Hosea Richard Kekana, and 12-year-old Johana Kekana - who were being cared for at the Montadi Youth Care Centre - were found on Saturday, with their hands and feet tied up with shoe laces.
They had allegedly been stoned to death and the girl is believed to have been raped before she was killed.
Extending his deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims, Zuma reaffirmed government's commitment to protect children and further appealed to all communities to work together to ensure that children are protected at all times in all communities.
"All forms of violence against children should never be tolerated in our society, we must all work together to ensure that," said the President.
He also urged the law enforcement agencies to work around the clock to ensure that those responsible for the criminal act are brought to justice and made to face the full might of the law.
The Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, has also urged the police to do everything in their power to apprehend the perpetrators involved in the killing.
"There are murderers on the loose, for as long as they are still roaming our streets, our children are not safe, this extreme form of brutality against innocent children must never go unpunished," Xingwana said.
She also called on community members to assist the police and give them whatever information they may have so that the police can find the perpetrators and make sure that they criminals do not have a place to hide.
"People who derive pleasure from killing and harming our children do not belong to our new democratic society, the children are the future of our nation, they must be protected and nurtured," said an outraged Xingwana.
She was confident that the reintroduction of Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) units within the SAPS as announced by the Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa would assist in turning the tide against these crimes.