Police have launched a manhunt for a 32-year-old man who allegedly poisoned his two-year-old daughter in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg.
It is believed he also consumed the poison. Family members say he was upset over their impoverished state of living.
Two-year-old Phiwokuhle and her father Russel Makhubela are said to have been very close. So when they briefly disappeared while the family was chopping wood – her mother did not think he would poison their child – and himself.
His sister says he was tired of living in poverty.
He allegedly responded angrily when Phiwokuhle’s mother replied that they were trying to make ends meet.
Makhubela allegedly told the mother of his child that he had consumed poison and fed it to the child. He also told her to do the same, but she refused. She took the child and ran to his sister’s house. However, by the time she got there, Phiwokuhle was already dead.
Mental health experts say breadwinners often face burdens alone.
We end up with a combination of men who who, after they lose their ability to provide, find it extremely difficult to ask for help and support, says Bird.
Police are still searching for the father. Makhubela was last seen wearing a blue shirt. It’s not known whether he is dead or alive.