Charity suspends alleged child rapist
Johannesburg - Solidarity has suspended a volunteer who allegedly raped a 12-year-old boy in the Western Cape, the union's charity arm said on Thursday.
"It seems that there was definitely more than one incident between February 6 and 20. In cases of child abuse you act immediately even if it's only a rumour," Solidarity's Helping Hand chairperson Dirk Hermann said.
He said the man, 60, had been arrested on Monday after the child's mother laid charges against him with the police.
Hermann said the man appeared in court on Wednesday but the matter was postponed until February 28. He was not granted bail.
The alleged incidents took place just outside Gordons Bay in a caravan donated by the charity to the boy's destitute family.
The boy and his 20-year-old brother had moved from Johannesburg to the Western Cape less than a month ago to stay with their mother who was unemployed at the time.
"We are absolutely shocked. We have a policy of no nonsense when it comes to any form of abuse, [especially] when it comes to children."
Hermann was at pains to reiterate that the volunteer was not an employee of the organisation and did not receive payment of any kind.
"Helping Hand puts a high premium on the work done by the volunteers, but will not show any mercy if a volunteer abuses his or her position."
He said the organisation would support criminal proceedings in anyway it was able to.
"When an injustice is committed against a child, we turn our face towards that child," said Hermann.
Police could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to The New Age newspaper, the boy had recorded the alleged abuse on his cellphone.