Child rape: teen exiled

2012-05-01 00:00

THE teen accused of the rape and mutilation of his eight-year-old neighbour in Gingindlovu last week was removed from his rural village to a place of safety near Durban yesterday for his own protection and that of the community.

The 15-year-old appeared in court again yesterday, this time for the alleged assault of another young girl.

This was confirmed by Education MEC Senzo Mchunu, who was among politicians and public servants who visited the victim and her family last week.

Mchunu told The Witness community members had expressed concern that the boy was released into the custody of a relative’s in Gingindlovu on Wednesday.

According to another KZN government official, the community felt the boy was a threat and also accused him of beating up other children.

It was also felt that he should be removed for his own safety.

Yesterday, police went to his home to arrest him for the alleged assault of another girl at school on the very same day he is alleged to have raped the eight-year-old.

Mchunu said: “The police have fetched him and he has appeared in court.

“The prosecutor has decided that he should not be in the custody of his parents …”

During the visit last week, officials had been told that the teen had assaulted another girl in the toilets at his school. “He then ran away, and it was in that time that he [allegedly] attacked the other child,” said Mchunu. That child is now receiving counseling.

Nokuthula Zikhali, the spokesperson for the KZN Department of Correctional Services, said it was likely that the teen was removed to a place of safety near Durban for “awaiting trial” minors.

Meanwhile, the eight-year-old is recovering in hospital and her condition is described as stable.

The teen allegedly gouged out her left eye and also damaged her right eye.

The octogenarian grandmother, who cared for the orphaned girl at her simple two-room, cement-brick house, said yesterday: “I wish we could do to him, what he did to her. Even if I must do it to him myself.”

The girl’s mother lies buried in a small family cemetery at the back of the house — also only metres away from where the rape took place.

The boy lived in the area for about two years, having been sent by his mother from elsewhere in the country into the care of his grandmother.

Referring to the fact that the suspect is in Grade 6, the eight-year-old’s relative asked angrily: “What is a 15-year-old doing in primary school?”

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