Editorial: Wake up call

POSTED: 09/18/14 1:18 AM

The sentence a psychotic man received in court yesterday for attempted manslaughter on a 9-year old schoolgirl will leave many people with a bitter taste in their mouth. In tragic cases like this – little girl, seriously disturbed man – there never seems to be a right measure to do justice to the damage someone’s actions have caused.

There is however a lesson here for our new government. The new penal code – in limbo since 2012 – needs to be put into effect in a hurry. The situation furthermore screams for initiatives in the field of mental health.

We have now two cases on our hands where mental patients committed horrible crimes – the baby Reid Morgan murder and the attempted manslaughter on the little schoolgirl. One victim is beyond help, the other one may never recover from the atrocities she had to endure.

All this is due to the lack of attention for mental health, the best efforts of the Mental Health Foundation notwithstanding, and the lack of facilities and legislation that would give the community the tools to prevent this from ever happening again.

How many wake up calls do our decision makers need?

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