The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities has strongly condemned the recent spate of gender-based violence incidents against children, regardless of the perpetrators being minors or older persons.
In one of the recent cases, an eight-year-old girl died from internal bleeding after being reportedly beaten by playground bullies at a school in Soweto.
"It is absolutely unacceptable that in our society, children continue to live in fear from their peers, family, friends and the general [public]. Rape is rape regardless of age, gender or race, and it remains a crime that will not be tolerated in our society.
"What has become deeply worrying is when minors are themselves perpetrators, as it reflects back on the environment in which our children are brought up," said the department.
It urged parents, guardians, relatives and society at large to take the responsibility of teaching morals and discipline to children.