On Wednesday, a man accused of killing little Stacey Adams appeared in court in Mitchell's Plain on murder and rape charges. It is a case that has devastated that community and sent shockwaves through the country.
But it is part of a broader phenomenon of child murders in South Africa, and one of at least five child murders currently in court.
Nationally, between 800 and 900 children are killed in South Africa alone according to police figures, The Star reported. NGOs put the number of child murders in the Western Cape at 66 for 2017, according to TimesLive.
The 25-year-old man, believed to be Stacey's mother's boyfriend, appeared in court on Wednesday for a bail application. He was reportedly arrested and charged with Stacey's rape and murder.
Eyewitness News (EWN) reported that the suspect confessed to killing the child. He was arrested on Sunday.
According to News24, Stacey was found dead in Eastridge, Mitchells Plain, on Sunday in a shallow grave dug next to a Wendy house, on the property where her mother lived with her boyfriend.
Stacey reportedly stayed with her grandmother across the road but frequently moved between the two houses.
The Daily Voice reported that Mitchell's Plain community members stormed the house where the suspect lived, as police questioned him inside. The home was reportedly petrol bombed.
When EWN spoke to Sasha Lee Adams, mother of #StaceyAdams yesterday she said she'd seen her daughter's clothes in the bin next to the shallow grave where the body had been found on Sunday. MM pic.twitter.com/u0QKX7E48G— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) June 26, 2018
The suspect's aunt, who owns the property, reportedly said the family was devastated by what had happened and said they "never expected him [the suspect] to do something like this" as he also has a six-year-old child.
It emerged on Wednesday that the suspect is charged with six other cases, including a murder charge that is still pending.
These cases were withdrawn, however, owing to a lack of evidence.
Here are more child murders that are making their way through the courts:
- The trial of Mortimer Saunders, from Elsies Rivier in Cape Town, is currently under way. Saunders confessed to killing three-year-old toddler Courtney Pieterse in May last year and performing a sexual act with her corpse. Saunders reportedly killed the child out of revenge, because of problems between him and the child's mother, according to News24.
- The body of 11-year-old Malwande Deyi was found on the banks of the Mthavuna River in KwaZulu-Natal in May. The Zululand Observer reported that the boy had been violently bludgeoned and a piece of his skull was missing. Nkosivumile Sincuba was arrested and led the police to the place near the river where he had hidden part of the child's skull. He was sentenced to life in prison.
- On June 4, a suspect accused of killing his girlfriend and their four-year-old daughter appeared in the Daveyton Magistrate's Court, according to the Benoni City Times. It is alleged that the suspect knocked his girlfriend unconscious during an argument and then suffocated the child, before setting their home alight.
- On June 5, the body of five-year-old Minentle Lekhatha was found dumped under a bridge near Strand in the Western Cape. Police are investigating a murder case but no details have emerged yet of what happened to the child. Her eyes had been gouged out. She was reported three days prior, according to eNCA.
— Veve (@LudidiVelani) June 4, 2017