A six-year-old’s daily walk to school turned tragic this week, with the news that a South African schoolkid was killed attempting to save his mother from a rapist on their school run.
Kutlwano Garesape, six, his eight-year-old brother Thabiso and their mother Segomotso, 42, were walking to their school in Jan Kempdorp in Northern South Africa after missing their usual morning bus.
While walking they were accosted by an assailant brandishing a broken bottle, who attempted to rob the family. When they couldn’t produce any cash, the man forced himself upon Segomotso, The Daily Mail reports.
Segomotso recalls her assailant pulling up her skirt. “[I] realised that he wanted to rape me in front of my children,” she told The Daily Mail.
But her six-year-old son wouldn't let that happen. “Kutlwano slapped the man across the face and told him to let go of me. He kept on screaming, ‘Let go of my mommy! It is my mommy!’ While slapping and kicking the man.”
As Kutlwano bravely tried to save his mother, the attacker struck him to the floor and then proceeded to stab him repeatedly. Segomotso attempted to save her son, running to a nearby main road screaming for help, but none came.
“All the cars just drove past as I cried and screamed that a man is killing my child,” Segomotso told The Daily Mail.
Shortly afterwards, the assailant fled the scene, leaving Kutlwano’s body on the nearby railway tracks.
“I picked Kutlwano up and held him to my chest. He told me to hold him and I sat down on the railway line and held him to my chest… He asked me to kiss him and I did. He then stretched out his hand to his brother. When I held him to my chest again, his arms fell to the side and I knew he was dead.”
Police arrested a 32-year-old man in relation to the crime, and he has since appeared in court on the charge of murdering a six-year-old boy. His court appearance was picketed by community groups, protesting the magistrate to refuse bail.
“This angers the community as this incident now inflicts fear in all of us and we feel that we are not safe. As a parent, you know really worry about the safety of your children,” community members told The Independent outside the court.