Addressing several newsmen in Western Cape, the president appeared to be loosing his calm over the insensitivity of the South African police Service officials, who were alleged of ill-treating Courtney Pieter’s mother as a common criminal.

“When the police were asked to come and help, they almost treated the mother as the perpetrator instead of helping to look for the child,” said Zuma.

Had they come to the Elsies River house in the first place and searched it, “they could have found the body. They could have found the blood … but they did not react as if this was a serious matter”, Zuma said after visiting the family.

He has charged the Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to address the problem, he said as he unveiled a plaque dedicated to Courtney on the wall of her family’s pink two-storey home in Pluto Street.

The little girl was found almost decomposing on Saturday, nine days after she disappeared from outside the house on May 4. The following day, police arrested Mortimer Saunders, 40, who had been a boarder in the house for two years.

“That a man who stays here can rape the child, kill the child in the bedroom … and break every bone to make the child fit in a plastic bag … It shows something has gone wrong with society,” Zuma said.

The rate at which children and women were being raped and murdered indicated there was something wrong. He asked communities to form groups to protect women and children from violence.