Family accuses elders of cover-up

2019-10-02 06:02

THE family of a four-year-old girl who was raped at her home in Msinga has spoken out against the pastor from a local church who allegedly raped their daughter.

The suspect, who is an uncle to the victim, was visiting his sister when the alleged incident happened.

A family member who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim told Greytown Gazette that the elders in the family had a meeting last week to try and settle the matter out of court, saying: “The elders had a meeting to discuss the matter and find solutions.

“The child is vulnerable; she should be receiving trauma counselling after the incident.

“The suspect has not been arrested because the elders in the family are trying to sweep this matter under the carpet. Why are the police not arresting him?

“I am worried about the life of the child. For her to go through all this is uncalled for. A rape victim has to undergo trauma counselling.

“She was complaining about pains in her vagina. We did not know what to do because nobody suspected that she had been raped.

“This was not the first incident to happen. It has happened before, but the elders in the family have swept it under the carpet,” she said.

The Gazette established that the suspect is a prominent member of a local church.

KZN MEC for Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza said: “This is a disgusting incident. I’m saddened to learn that the man who was supposed to protect the child [allegedly] raped her. We want to see this vicious man in prison. The police should not fail us but arrest the alleged criminal.”

Khoza said the victims of this unwarranted assault on women and children deserve justice.

“We can no longer talk about this but want to see all perpetrators in prison. We have seen numerous incidents of rape, abuse, murders of women and children. These incidents have landed a serious blow on the many strides that have been made in the emancipation and empowering of women since the advent of democracy. It is high time that society begins to inculcate a sense of pride and responsibility to boy-children to appreciate girl-children and not view them as potential punching bags later in life.

“We call on men to take their responsibilities to be protective of women and not harbour patriarchal and backward views about women.”

Social Development spokesperson Mhlabunzima Memela said a team of social workers was sent to visit the family of the child to look at ways to remove her from that situation and provide psycho-social support.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said: “A case of sexual assault was opened at Nhlanhleni Police Station after a four-year-old [child] was allegedly sexually assaulted by a relative in the Douglas area.

“The case is being investigated by Dundee Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences.”

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