TAC protest alleged rapist’s bail grant

2008-06-19 00:00

AIDS activists from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and rural community members yesterday marched to the kwaMafunze Tribal Authority in Elandskop to protest against gender-based violence following the rape of a six-year-old child in the area.

Protesters raised their concerns about the release on bail of the 28-year-old accused, whose name is known to The Witness. The court is waiting for DNA test results.

TAC spokeswoman Zandile Zuma said the child lives in fear since the suspect was released back into the community. “The child was traumatised by the rape and now that the perpetrator is back walking freely in the streets she lives in constant fear.” Zuma said the accused sometimes goes to the school the child attends.

The grade one pupil was on her way back from school when the suspect allegedly confronted her and took her to a nearby homestead and raped her.

The child’s mother, whose name has been withheld, said community members reacted immediately when the matter was reported.

The police were called by the child’s teacher. It is alleged that a blood-stained blanket was found on the floor where the rape occurred. Police apparently took the blanket for DNA testing.

Zuma said the justice system has failed the child and other rape victims. “We are alarmed by the manner in which the criminal justice system has failed women and children in Elandskop. Out of the eight rape cases that have been reported in this area this year, only one has ended in a conviction.”

In their memorandum of demands the TAC said the wheels of justice should turn faster. “We demand justice for rape survivors and an end to violence against women and children in our community.”

The TAC also called for a life sentence for the accused. “We demand that the police and the courts consider the safety of children in the community and respect the attitudes of the community when deciding whether to grant bail or not.”

The memorandum was presented to Chief Maviyo Ngcobo’s representative and the SAPS.

sandilez@witness.co.za

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