Child abuse claims against KZN boarding house

2014-11-11 12:04

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Pietermaritzburg - Horrific allegations of child abuse have been made against a boarding house in Pietermaritzburg, including one claiming that a 4-year-old girl was raped.

It was also alleged that an 8-year-old child was sexually assaulted by the young relative of the owners of the boarding house, reported The Witness.

The 4-year-old victim had been staying with the owners, whose names are known to The Witness, since January this year, while the 8-year-old had been at the facility since September 2012.

Sources staying at the boarding house said the 17-year-old teen had instructed the 4-year-old girl to go to the toilet before raping her on many occasions. They said the girl said he also sodomised her.

Sources said they confronted the boy, who admitted to having raped the girl because he was drunk.

Thought it was a safe place

The boarding house co-owner and child minder said the 8-year-old girl told the doctor that her relative had also sexually assaulted her.

The children were placed in the boarding house because their families thought it was a safe place, as they had no one to look after them while their parents worked or were away.

Sources alleged the facility’s owners were aware of the matter but turned a blind eye to it. One source said he told the co-owner that “if I disclosed what is happening here, some people would be arrested”.

He said she then started to “panic” and called a security company, before the police arrested the boy last Sunday.

Quizzed on why she didn’t initially report the matter, the co-owner said when she approached the police initially, they told her that “he was under age” and cannot be arrested.

“He raped one and [sexually assaulted] the other one. I wanted to talk to him, but he kept on running away. He is a heavy drinker,” she said.

After the ordeal, the families removed their children from the facility. The father of the 4-year-old said the co-owner should also be brought to book. “She agreed to the responsibility to look after my child but she failed.

“My daughter told me that the accused normally watched her when she was bathing,” he said. “She is getting better and is playing with other children, but you can see that she is still traumatised.”

Owner was ‘hiding this mess’

He said he had received a call from a domestic worker at the centre, who alerted him that his child was being sexually abused.

He said when the domestic worker told the co-owner that she suspected something, she said she became angry and defensive. “It is clear that she was hiding this mess. She must also be arrested.”

The 8-year-old victim’s father said his daughter is “very upset”. “She is always sleeping at home as she is still traumatised but she is slowly recovering,” he said.

Another source said the boy was troublesome.

“He is violent. I thought he was mentally ill the way he does things. Things get ugly after taking drugs. He steals and causes mayhem in the centre,” she said.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said charges of rape and sexual assault are being investigated by the Pietermaritzburg Family Violence, Child and Sexual Abuse Unit.

He said the 17-year-old suspect appeared in the Magistrate’s Court on 5 November, but the court results are unknown.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  child abuse

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