Parolee allegedly rapes 107-year-old woman

2018-02-07 06:00

THE community of Ward 11 in Mpophomeni was on Monday protesting outside the local police station, baying for the blood of a man accused of raping a 107-year-old woman.

The victim later died but the police said the cause of death has not been determined.

The 39-year-old accused was released on parole three months ago following a rape conviction.

The man allegedly raped the elderly woman on January 28, at night. He allegedly gained entry into the victim’s home through a window and when the elderly woman’s grandchild heard her crying out for help, the grandchild notified neighbours.

Mpophomeni SAPS station commander Captain Mpumelelo Makhathini confirmed yesterday that the man is in police custody and was due to appear in the Howick court on the same day.

The suspect was handed over to the police by a relative on Monday and once members of the public got wind of that, they headed to the police station. KZN SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele confirmed that community members were at the police station.

She said: “A group of about 180 community members barricaded Mpophomeni Police Station demanding the release of a murder suspect detained at the station. The community members damaged the station ceiling and gate. Public Order Police arrived on the scene and dispersed the crowd. Charges of public violence and malicious damage to property were opened at Mpophomeni Police Station for investigation.”

The public order police allegedly used live ammunition on the angry crowd. However, the Echo could not determine whether anyone was injured.

Councillor Thulani Mthalane of Ward 11, the area where the incident occurred, said the community members are irate because they believe the police failed the victim, her family and the community in general. “The previous week, the same suspect allegedly attempted to rape the same elderly woman and this was reported to the police but the police allegedly did nothing about it.

“Allegedly, the elderly was not questioned about the incident and the accused was not arrested, so community members feel that had the police intervened, the old woman would still be alive,” Mthalane said.

A meeting was held on Tuesday between the councillor, the community and the police and other stakeholders in the safety and security cluster, to address the issues that arose following the alleged rape and subsequent arrest of the accused. The meeting also addressed general worries the community has about crime in the area.

At the meeting, Mthalane urged the community to exercise restraint as safety and security structures, the police and other stakeholders will hold a meeting to find a resolution to the crime issues that are a concern in the area.

Makhathini said: “It is important that the community and the police work together to combat crime, especially when the suspect is already in police custody, then the community should allow the police to conduct their investigations.”

In two Facebook posts on the area’s community page that went viral, one about the rape and the other announcing the public meeting, commenters complained about how police have failed the community several times, with a number of cases unresolved and the crime rate remaining high.

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