The body of a four-year-old girl was discovered with multiple stab wounds in KwaMashu, north of Durban, on Friday.
In a statement on Tuesday, the KwaZulu-Natal social development department said that the toddler went missing from her home on Thursday and her body was discovered in a bushy area the following day.
“This incident has caused a lot of pain to many of us. It is very hard to believe that a person can even contemplate killing a defenceless child, let alone in such a macabre way,” said social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza.
It is alleged that her body was found wrapped in clothing items belonging to a relative and that the relative and another family member were taken in for questioning by police and later released.
Police didn’t immediately respond to queries.
Khoza urged police to investigate the death with speed.
“Our communities should be more proactive to ensure safe of our children. Parents or guardians should know where their children are at all times,” she said.
“We have full confidence in the law enforcement agencies that they will get to the bottom of the matter and ensure the arrest of the perpetrator. Police should follow up on all the possible leads on this case in order to secure conviction,” she added.