Family’s double rape horror

2012-04-28 15:55

Grahamstown has been rocked by the horror story of two siblings, a seven-year-old girl and her ­six-year-old brother, who were both allegedly raped by the same man.

The little girl reported her rape first, four weeks ago.

But it was ­after telling the police and her ­parents what had happened to her, and identifying the alleged perpetrator, that she was viciously ­attacked again – and her brother was raped, too.

The children have accused a teacher at their primary school of being their rapist. Although he has been suspended from the school after a delay of some weeks, police are adamant that the teacher is not a suspect.

The children’s 30-year-old ­father says the attacks have shaken him to the core.

“How can things go so horribly wrong for her now, when she had just entrusted us adults with the truth?” he asked.

“My pain and anger is nothing compared to what I’ve seen her go through since she told us what ­happened.

“You wash and dress your little girl for school not knowing that someone else sees her as a grown women ready to do sexual things with.”

The little girl, who is in Grade 2 at George Dickerson Primary School, claims she was systematically raped every day from February to March 27, when schools closed for holidays.

She alleges that the rapist threatened to kill her if she told anyone. And her father candidly admits that he had to “hit her” to get his daughter to explain what had ­happened.

On April 10 the girl’s mother ­reported the alleged assaults to the principal – and left her daughter at school. A case had already been opened with the police.

That day the little girl was ­allegedly raped again and assaulted so badly that she was hospitalised for a week.

“To tell you the truth, it had not sunk in that she had been hurt like this and I thought last Friday (when the girl was discharged) was my last hospital visit,” the upset dad said while sitting, once again, in the reception area of the hospital where his son has been treated since Wednesday.

“He has told us there were two incidents – on Tuesday and Wednesday.”

The teacher identified by the children as their alleged attacker was placed on precautionary ­suspension on Thursday.

His suspension came only after the family visited the education ­department’s district office on Monday and enraged residents protested at the school.

Provincial education spokes­person Loyiso Pulumani said the district was notified of the allegations against the teacher only this week.

The district immediately started the process to suspend the teacher pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

The school’s principal refused to explain his delay in informing the district, citing the investigation as the reason for his silence.

Other teachers at the school have questioned the suspension, saying their colleague has not been criminally charged.

“This is all very strange to us, and we don’t know what to make of it. Surely we could have picked it up if he was doing such evil things at school,” said one teacher.

Further fuelling the confusion is the police’s insistence that the teacher is not a suspect. Police sources told City Press that, apart from the girl’s statement, nothing else ties the teacher to the crime.

Grahamstown police spokesperson Mali Govender said: “Several different versions of the incident were put forward to the police, and at this stage details of the date, the time and place are still unknown.

“We do not really have a crime scene. We do not have a suspect in this case, and we are still investigating,” she said.

Govender added that it could be normal for victims of severe traumatic incidents to give differing accounts of what happened, and that the little girl had spoken to a forensic psychologist.

“We are patient and the investigating officers are in close contact with the parents. These cases are receiving our highest priority.”

The children’s father said his greatest wishes were to get justice, and to see his children recover. “My girl is now very aggressive towards little children, and even us, but I pray that they can forget this,” he said.

“She is seeing three social ­workers and started with a ­psychologist this week.

“It’s as if she blames herself ­because this week she said she hates the fact that people where we live say ‘shame’ when they see her.”

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