‘Raped by my carer’

2011-04-21 00:00

A 17-YEAR-OLD teenager placed in a safe house told how she was raped by the man who was supposed to protect her.

She gave gory details of how she has been allegedly sexually assaulted since 2008 by a 47-year-old man who was in charge of caring for her and other vulnerable children.

The teenager, who cannot be named, was allegedly raped twice by the man who has worked as senior official for the Child Advocacy Centre for the past 10 years.

This group is attached to the Department of Child Welfare and often deals with victims who are referred by the police’s family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit.

The man was arrested on Tuesday and is expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court today.

The girl said, “Since I lived in his house in Hermannsburg [near Wartburg] he would massage me everyday in the presence of his wife and enter the bathroom while I was bathing.”

The accused, who also works as a police reservist, was arrested at the Child Advocacy Centre offices in Willowton Road at about 1 pm. Police also confiscated a handgun, which he allegedly used to threaten his victim.

It is believed that the victim, who is originally from Richmond, will help the police to investigate 20 other rape cases in which the accused is allegedly implicated.

She claims the alleged victims — all between nine and 16 years old — were raped at the accused’s home in Hermannsburg.

The Department of Child Welfare reportedly sends children to live at his home. A number of needy girls are said to live with the accused and his family. The victim also claimed that one of the victims was impregnated by the accused.

The victim said she had also been raped repeatedly by her previous caretaker and was under the counselling supervision of the Child Advocacy Centre.

She told The Witness yesterday that on the evening of July 13, 2010, the accused drank a lot of beer and raped her in an outbuilding at a house in Scottsville, which he rented to be near his office.

She said the one-room building had two beds, one of which he offered to her and a nine-year-old girl who was also in his care.

“On the night he produced a firearm and told me to undress and then he raped me twice. The next morning he apologised and blamed his act on beer. He said that if I don’t report the incident he will register me with the FET [Further Education and Training college] and take care of me financially.”

She said she was told to come to Pietermaritzburg on April 11 by the accused. Before the alleged rape the accused introduced her to the nine-year-old girl, who later told her that the accused had also raped her repeatedly.

“On the morning after the rape he took me back to Hermannsburg. On Wednesday I told the accused’s friend in Hermannsburg about the incident. They then took me to the Greytown police station to open the case,” she said.

The victim said the accused’s wife has since learned of the arrest and promised to help other rape victims to come forward.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan confirmed that the man has been charged with rape and that a licensed 9 mm firearm was confiscated. She said police are investigating other rape cases allegedly involving the same man. She said he will appear in court today. The case has been transferred to Alexandra Road police station.

Jeevan appealed to other victims to come forward.

The director of the Child and Family Welfare Society of Pietermaritzburg, Julie Todd, said the organisation is waiting for police investigations to be completed before commenting on the arrest and the allegations.

She did not want a trial by media.

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