System let us down – family

2012-04-21 18:35

The family of the Soweto teenager whose rape was filmed by her assailants say they have been let down by the very people who are supposed to help them.

The girl’s elder sister told City Press the family was considering suing Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko for defamation after she accused their mother of child neglect.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga has said the teen’s mother might be charged.

Before Friday’s court appearance of Edward Monyela (37), with whom the child was found on Wednesday and who has been charged with rape and kidnapping, the sister spoke of their family’s desperation.

The girl is the second youngest of five children. Their mother is unemployed and has been everything but negligent, says the teen’s sister.

“There is nowhere we haven’t gone for help. My mother is very hurt. She’s bottling everything, but she’s not taking it well,” she said.

The family says Mazibuko was wrong for saying on Wednesday that the teen had been taken to a place of safety when social workers pitched up at the family home on Thursday morning.

This is not the first time the girl’s family has had to deal with the horror of rape.

In 2009, her family went to the Dobsonville Police Station to report that she had been raped.

The girl’s sister said two men had been arrested for this assault.

“The alleged rapists are from White City, Soweto, but were both released,” she said.

And on Thursday when the family went to the Roodepoort Magistrates’ Court for the appearance of the alleged rapists, aged between 14 and 20, they were kicked out because the case was held in camera.

Only the boys’ parents were allowed inside the courtroom.

“We informed the magistrate that we were her relatives,” she said, but they were still not allowed to sit in the courtroom.

The young woman, who cannot be identified in order to protect her sister’s identity, said the teen’s mental condition was never diagnosed and had never been adequately treated.

“The local clinic referred her to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, where she received treatment for a number of years,” she said.

She was prescribed medication, but her family were not informed about the details of her condition, the girl’s sister explained.

Despite her obvious disability, the girl’s family receives no disability grant.

“Her application has never been successful,” her sister said.

Thapelo Moiloa, spokesperson for Mazibuko, said the department of community safety and police were still awaiting the results of a psychiatric assessment of the mother before deciding whether she would be investigated.

Moiloa appealed to the family of the victim to give the department “proof they went to the police station on several occasions”.

“If there is some truth in those allegations, we can hold the Dobsonville Police Station accountable for not assisting them,” he said.

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