Child rape case sparks outrage

2016-04-14 06:00
 Angry demonstrators outside the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court. PHOTO: mandla mahashe

Angry demonstrators outside the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court. PHOTO: mandla mahashe

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As the family of a seven-year-old rape victim and the community of Khayelitsha’s B Section fumes over her ordeal, a 52-year-old neighbour has appeared in court.

The man was arrested two weeks ago after a case of rape of a minor – who identified him in a police ID parade – was opened against him.

According to the mother, whose identity can’t be revealed to protect the child, the abuse was discovered after the child’s older friends had tipped her.

“My child had been behaving differently but I never took that seriously until her friends came up to us.

“They said that they had something to tell me, they said that my child was in trouble but said that she must tell me.

“At first she refused to cooperate, but after coercion, she finally revealed what the ‘Uncle’ did to her,” she said.

Speaking outside the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Monday, the mother said that she was heartbroken and disappointed that the person who harmed her child was close to them.

“This has left my child traumatised and she has become withdrawn. It’s a struggle just to get her to school.

The man is so well-known to the family that he was regarded as one of them.

“He is my uncle’s friend and he often came to the house to visit, no one could have expected this from him. He should be the one protecting the children and not taking advantage,” she cried.

The child’s grandmother said that she couldn’t fathom that the same men she dined and sipped tea with could be the one who could cause he family such grief.

“I am so disappointed as I treated this man like family since he was friends with my son. He has really caused a lot of pain in our family especially for the child as she how changed for the worse. She is no longer the person she used to be,” said the grandmother.

Although the man was released on bail, he was later re-arrested after community petitioned for him to be kept behind bars.

A money-lender, the man was also detained after he was found with ID documents in his home.

“We are happy that he was taken into custody again. We cannot have men like this in our community.

The community was angered by his bail release. It is very insensitive to the family of the victim.

We are really disappointed in him and we don’t want him back in our society,” said community member Xoliswa Tsholoba.

There were also allegations that the man is a member of the local Community Policing Forum, but police could not confirm this at the time of going to press.

However, police confirmed that the man was arrested on both charges and that the case was at court.

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