Child violence is a natural disaster
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.
“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.”
Pravin Kubair was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to strangling his son Elijah, 7 (right). |