Search for rape witness

2011-06-15 00:00

POLICE are searching for a witness who may help solve a rape case involving a six-year-old girl.

The incident took place in Murchison, near Port Shepstone, in early June.

The mother of the child told Port Shepstone police that her daughter was raped by a man who is well-known in the community.

The child claimed that the perpetrator came into her room while she was playing and began to rape her. She shouted and ran away.

Since then nobody in the Murchison area has seen the alleged rapist. Members of the community believe that he fled to the Ezinqoleni area.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid said the family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit (FCS) is investigating the case.

Anyone with information about the rape should call Detective Constable Emelda Niemack at 039 688 7900 or 039 688 7906 or 082 334 9682.

“FCS is a team of police officers who will help the victim in every way possible,” said Wiid. The first priority is to protect the victim.

“Whether it is a close friend or a family member who is the perpetrator, it does not matter. The perpetrator will be arrested.”

Wiid said there are some cases where circumstances do not make it possible for the perpetrator to be arrested.

“The suspect will not be arrested, but rather removed from the immediate vicinity of the victim.

“The child will be put in a place of safety.”

She said the rape of males is reported more frequently and there are an average of five such rapes reported every week.

“Section 54 of the Sexual Offences Act 32 of 2007 stipulates that any person who has knowledge of a sexual offence against a child must report such knowledge immediately to a police official.”

The person may remain anonymous and will be referred to as an informer. The person is not obliged to give evidence in court.

The Thuthuzela Crisis Centre at Port Shepstone Hospital provides holistic care to rape victims.

It deals with up to 60 rape cases a month.

Phumza Morai, public relations officer for the hospital, said a team of medical professionals offers victims of rape physical, medical and mental health care.

Statements are also taken from police officers at the centre.

“Doctors advise that rape incidents should be reported within 72 hours so that ARVs [anti-retroviral treatment] can be administered. After 72 hours, ARV’s will not protect the victim from HIV.”

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