Family seeks answers to child’s death

Emma Morris would have been five years old and her family said they chose to remember her like this - smiling and happy.

Police believe the man responsible for the death of a four-year-old girl in Joe Slovo earlier this year may be hiding out in Khayelitsha – and may have lived in Langa at the time of the incident.

The girl’s grieving father, Andrew Morris, says the police investigation into Emmarentia’s death has not yielded any results.

“Emma” Morris’s death on Freedom Day has dragged on for too long. On Saturday April 27, Emma was on her way to a food stall with friends when she was hit by a bakkie hauling a trailer. “Emma was playing with three other friends right in front of the house. A little later, they had gone down the road, not far, to buy amanqina (chicken feet) because one of them had a R2 to buy some. “I wasn’t there, but after many talks with people that were at the scene (it is my understanding that) a car came speeding and knocked my little girl. The driver got out of the car and pulled her from underneath the car,” he said.

While Mr Morris was recounting the day’s events, his wife, Stephanie Morris, was visibly upset and started pacing in and out of the room. Mr Morris said witnesses had told him that the driver had pulled Emma out from under the car then announced he would report himself to the police. “As he pulled off, the wheel of the trailer also ran over her.

He showed so much disregard for her life. But, to this day, we are sitting here and no justice has been dished out,” Mr Morris said. 

The investigating officer, Warrant Officer Henry Beaming, said police were investigating a culpable homicide and had leads on a suspect’s whereabouts.

“The suspect is currently on the run. We found out he was staying in Langa at the time of the accident, but efforts to find him failed because we learned that he had packed all his belongings and fled with his wife.

Right now, I’m communicating with Home Affairs to help track him using the name I have. If he were to cross the border, we have Interpol that can help us in the manhunt, but we have information that he is hiding out in Khayelitsha,” said Warrant Officer Beaming. 

He added that he was still waiting for the results of an autopsy to confirm Emma’s exact cause of death. But Mr Morris said not enough was being done, and his family was suffering knowing that the man accused of being responsible for Emma’s death was still at large, despite police knowing his name and his possible whereabouts.

Throwing his hands in the air, he asked how long the family would have to wait for justice. 

“Emma’s brother and sister miss her so much, and you can see what it’s doing to my wife and myself. I can hardly eat because my health is deteriorating as a result of stress and constant overthinking. We miss our baby,” he said.

Mr Morris added that Emma had, in a way, been a protector among her friends. He said that he had once seen her walking a friend of hers home and acting like a grown up. 

“That was the type of person she was. I wouldn’t be surprised if that day she was trying to protect her friends and she was the one that was knocked over,” he said.