Family seek justicefor girl (4)

2010-06-25 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG family have yet to see justice after their four-year-old daughter was raped — allegedly by a neighbour — in August last year.

The unemployed father (40) and mother (41), whose names cannot be revealed to protect the child’s identity, said they have tried many times to get the police to deal effectively with the matter.

It is alleged that the rapist is the family’s neighbour, who is estimated to be in his 30s.

“We have told police whom the child had pointed out as her rapist, but the suspect has never been arrested or questioned,” said the child’s father.

He supports his family through begging for food, doing odd jobs or selling scrap metal.

The couple, who live in Snathing near Edendale, discovered that the child had been molested after she complained about pain in her private parts on August 14.

They are in possession of a letter from an Edendale Hospital doctor, which confirmed that the rape did take place in August.

“Our medical records show that the above-mentioned [child] was attended to on August 15, 2009, with a history of alleged sexual abuse.

“On examination it was found that there was suspicion of vaginal and anal penetration,” read the letter, which is dated May 13, 2010.

The father said he believes the child was molested while she was playing at their next-door neighbour’s house.

“On the morning of August 14, the child complained about pains...” said the father.

“Her mother … took her to Edendale Hospital and a doctor found that she had been raped. We then opened a case at Plessislaer police station.”

A few days later, said the father, the girl pointed out a neighbour.

“We then informed the police about what the child had told us,” he said.

He said police visited the suspect’s home only to find that he was away.

He added that since then police have never informed them about the case, while they kept seeing the suspect in his home or on the street.

“Instead the suspect and his family started to intimidate my family.

“This boy [the suspect] threatened me with a knife and at one point he hit me with a stone.

“Every time we come across his family they intimidate us,” he said.

The child’s mother said she was even forced to move to a city shelter for the homeless early this year with her children, who are aged between two and 20, to avoid the intimidation.

However, they moved back to their home after obtaining a protection order and peace order between January and May this year.

“We had to get a protection order because we cannot afford to lose our home.

“We also do not have money to build another home elsewhere,” said the mother.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court withdrew the case.

“The victim was ruled incompetent [to testify] and the forensic [test] … was negative; therefore no DNA could be obtained,” she said.

“The exhibit has been forwarded to the Forensic Unit in Pretoria for analysis,” Jeevan said.

“The case is still under investigation.”

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