Family of 13-year-old take legal steps to compel SAPS

| Tariro Washinyira
Tariro Makalakata’s family is not happy that SAPS closed the case. Photo courtesy of family.

The Makalakata family is concerned that a month after the death of their daughter, Tariro, they have not received the post-mortem results and there is no progress on the case.

The father’s employer, Jeanette Schmidt, said Penias Makalakata has worked for their family for seven years and their family are engaging a lawyer from their law firm. Schmidt is unhappy the police have closed the investigation.

The family told GroundUp that they reported a case of assault against their late daughter at Elsies River Police Station and were given the following case numbers: 335-05-2014 and WC-14-1099114.

But on 27 May, Captain FC Van Wyk of SAPS Western Cape Media Centre wrote that the family of the deceased complains that the deceased was assaulted by the family friend that they shared the house with, but at no stage was there any assault complaint laid by the family or the complainant.

Constable Thembakazi Jacobs said, however, if the family members have any further and new evidence to prove that the deceased was assaulted, the office of the station commander can be approached for advice.

An inquest docket was opened after Tariro was found hanged. Post mortem results apparently revealed that there was no foul play and the docket was closed.

On 10 June, the Makalakata family went to Elsies River Police Station for an update and were told the investigation into the assault is closed because the deceased can not testify in court. The family want to know why the witnesses who saw the child being assaulted can’t testify. There is also photographic evidence the family took showing wounds on Tariro’s forehead and burns she sustained when the person they accuse of assault poured hot water on her the day she died. A broom used in the beating was also given to the police on the day of her death.

Penias Makalakata said, “I am fed up with Elsies River Police. They did not do their job properly. When I went there for an update the week we returned from Zimbabwe after Tariro’s burial, the officers argued in front of me that the detectives did not do their work appropriately. The assault case was not supposed to be closed since the evidence that the child was assaulted is available”.

Penias says the woman they accuse of assaulting their daughter has already left for Zimbabwe.

Read GroundUp’s initial report into the death

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TOPICS:  Crime Murder Violence

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