Granny speaks after girl’s horror rape

2014-01-26 10:00

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Motorists passing under the R300 bridge over the N2 highway outside Cape Town last Saturday night had no way of knowing that, just metres away, a nine-year-old girl was being tortured and raped.

The next morning, the girl’s grandmother was led to the scene, where she found her granddaughter tied up, bloodied and burnt, on rocks next to discarded takkies and a concrete pipe.

This week, the young victim was shrouded in bandages and fighting for her life in the intensive care unit at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

Her father?–?a taxi driver?–slept in the hospital to be close to his daughter.

Her mother, who is sickly, suffered a nervous breakdown and was taken to Karl Bremer Hospital, 20km away.

The parents’ names cannot be revealed to protect the identity of the young victim.

Her grandmother has been borrowing money from neighbours for taxi fare to both hospitals and back.

On Friday, she spoke to City Press inside the lounge of her tiny brick house in dusty, impoverished Delft.

She said: “I can’t sleep. I have a picture of what happened in the bush playing in my mind, over and over.”

Through parched lips, her granddaughter described her horrific ordeal. A man who was unknown to her had tricked her into following him into the veld.

He tied her ankles and hands, and raped her throughout the night. He then doused her in petrol, from the shoulders down, and set her alight. He laughed when she begged him to stop.

When he left her for dead, the girl rolled 6m through the veld to extinguish the flames.

Violence against children in South Africa has reached endemic proportions and is often traced to relatives, neighbours or friends.

Joan van Niekerk, the national coordinator of Childline SA, described the increasing incidence of child rape and violence as a “war on our children”.

On February 2, it will be a year since 17-year-old Anene Booysen was raped and killed by an acquaintance in Bredasdorp.

Also in Delft, a father was charged with murder for burying his 14-month-old son alive on January 8.

While speaking, the nine-year-old girl’s grandmother clutched her head with one hand and cradled the victim’s five-year-old sister in the other.

The two girls live with their father nearby, but play at their grandmother and mother’s house daily.

The nine-year-old left her grandmother’s house at about 7.45pm on Saturday.

The 27-year-old suspect was caught in Delft 10 minutes after the girl was found next to the highway.

Neighbour Priscilla Mcentee recalled spotting the man who was arrested.

“I saw the man was covered in blood, his pants and his private parts. He smelt of petrol too,” she said.

Neighbours believe the suspect is from the township of Philippi, across the N2 highway from Delft.

The mother collapsed when she saw the man charged with abducting, raping and trying to kill her child at the Bellville Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The case has been postponed to Tuesday.

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