A block too far for police to help girls

2012-08-22 00:00

MELMOTH police at the weekend failed to respond to the attempted rape of two teenagers, citing lack of transport — even though the incident occurred only a block away from the police station.

Residents were incensed when the story did the rounds in the small town. According to a witness, Mthonjaneni Municipality’s manager of protection services, Derek Horne, had to attend to the case when police failed to respond to his complaint.

Horne confirmed the incident. He lives next to the block of flats, Melmoth Heights, in Hammer Street where the incident took place.

Horne said on Saturday afternoon at about 3 pm, he heard the screams of young girls coming from the building. He phoned the Melmoth Police Station and was told that they could not investigate, as there was no vehicle available.

He said he told the charge office the building was only one block away from the police station.

Unable to get an undertaking that they would pursue the case, he decided to investigate himself.

“I walked through an open security gate into the building, heading for the source of the screams and saw two young girls, I estimate about 12 years and 16 years old. They had been tied to cement windows, with rope around their hands, and two young men were attempting to rape them,” he said.

The young men, estimated by Horne to be about 16 and 18, ran off as soon as he entered the flat. He untied the girls and they also ran off. “They were totally traumatised,” he said.

Eshowe police spokesperson Captain Tienkie van Vuuren promised an internal investigation. “This behaviour from SAPS members is unacceptable. The matter will be internally investigated and departmental action will be taken if any neglect is found.”

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