Child vi­o­lence is a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter

Post - - NEWS - NADIA KHAN

DUR­ING the sen­tenc­ing of a Phoenix fa­ther who pleaded guilty to stran­gling his son, it emerged that his younger daugh­ter had wit­nessed her brother’s death. Pravin Kubair, 30, was sen­tenced to 25 years’ im­pris­on­ment in the Durban High Court on Wed­nes­day.

In April 2017, he took his son Eli­jah, 7, and daugh­ter, 4, to a park, where he stran­gled the boy with a rope he used for a wash­ing line.

In his plea state­ment, he said he in­tended killing his daugh­ter and him­self, but she had fallen asleep.

Judge Mo­hini Mood­ley said a ther­a­pist’s re­port showed the girl had wit­nessed her brother be­ing stran­gled.

She was said to have been trau­ma­tised and con­fused dur­ing an in­ter­view with the ther­a­pist last Novem­ber.

The child stated their fa­ther had hurt her sib­ling and she had be­come sad and quiet, Judge Mood­ley said.

At the next ther­apy ses­sion, the girl said “dad hurt Eli­jah in his neck… I saw him”. She added that Kubair had put his hands on her neck as well.

The ther­a­pist re­port stated that the girl missed her brother deeply and had dis­played symp­toms of post-trau­matic dis­or­der, in­clud­ing re­gres­sive be­hav­iour, restless sleep, and night­mares.

Fear­ful

“She talks about Eli­jah and dy­ing. She is fear­ful and anx­ious and suf­fered sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety. She is also hy­per-vig­i­lant.”

Judge Mood­ley re­ferred to a re­cent study which re­vealed that 2 600 chil­dren had been mur­dered since 2016, and that 99% of the chil­dren had ei­ther wit­nessed or been sub­jected to vi­o­lence.

The rec­om­men­da­tion, said Judge Mood­ley, was that vi­o­lence against chil­dren be viewed as a “nat­u­ral dis­as­ter”.

Kubair and his es­tranged wife mar­ried in 2009. “They had a good re­la­tion­ship un­til he lost his job and could not meet his fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

“His wife said that the ac­cused had be­come very abu­sive when he started abus­ing al­co­hol in 2010, but since 2012 the abuse was ag­gra­vated and she tol­er­ated sub­stan­tial phys­i­cal and emo­tional abuse, most of which oc­curred in the pres­ence of the chil­dren,” Judge Mood­ley added.

He felt his fam­ily was torn apart after his es­tranged wife re­fused to take him back and he wanted to pun­ish her. Kubair had sent her a What­sApp mes­sage say­ing: “I am tak­ing what is mine…” be­fore the crime.

While hand­ing down sen­tence, Judge Mood­ley said Kubair should never have con­tem­plated us­ing his chil­dren as in­stru­ments of pun­ish­ment against his wife.

“The only mit­i­gat­ing fac­tor that I am able to find is that he is a first of­fender and that he may be a suit­able can­di­date for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion after at­tend­ing a rig­or­ous pro­gramme and is prop­erly mon­i­tored in prison.

“The ac­cused will have to live with the death of his child and de­stroy­ing his fam­ily as a re­sult of his own con­duct.”

IOL

Pravin Kubair was sen­tenced to 25 years’ im­pris­on­ment after plead­ing guilty to stran­gling his son Eli­jah, 7 (right). |

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