‘Creep’ arrested for flashing

2015-06-17 09:54
Northern Park Primary where a young school girl was called to the car of a naked man.

Northern Park Primary where a young school girl was called to the car of a naked man. (Jonathan Burton)

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Pietermaritzburg - A Chasedene man has been arrested after he allegedly indecently exposed himself to a Grade 6 pupil last week.

The safety of children outside school gates is becoming a growing issue in ­Pietermaritzburg following the ­abduction and murder of 5-year-old Athandiwe Dumakude of Berg Street Primary in February this year.

Police spokesperson Constable Mthokozisi Ngobese said a 28-year-old man was arrested last Thursday after video footage outside Northern Park Primary School assisted police in ­identifying him. The man, whose ­identity is known to The Witness, cannot be named until he is asked to plead to the charges against him.

The man was allegedly parked outside the school gate last Tuesday morning when he called a school girl to his car.

“Our little girl was walking to school when this dirty slime of a man called her to the car. She said he swung his passenger door open and when she looked ­inside she found him naked,” said a relative of the little girl, who cannot be named due to her age.

The relative said the girl slammed the door and ran into school to report the incident.

“She said the man sped up the road after she slammed the door and there was no sight of him or his blue car.”

The 12-year-old girl was walking from her mother’s car which was parked down the road at around 07:30 when the ­incident happened.

“She was very upset at first and when she told us about what happened we were shocked. Her father is a big built guy and he would have killed that man. We had to speak to him and tell him to let the law take its course,” said the girl’s relative.

A sticker, with the man’s surname, at the back of his car window led police to his arrest. The girl’s friends who were walking behind the car noticed the sticker and when police arrived, the pupils described the “distinctive” sticker.

“The man drove a bright blue Opel Astra. The pupils remembered his ­vehicle and the sticker at the back. Our records say he is a first-time offender but it could also mean that he has done this before but wasn’t charged,” said ­Ngobese.

The family member said the girl is ­doing “much better” after the incident and now they are “waiting for the law to takes its course”.

“This creep could be doing the same to other school girls. I hope this article warns other parents and children to be alert especially around schools,” said the relative.

Founder and CEO of KwaZulu-Natal child rights organisation Bobbi Bear, Jackie Branfield said these type of ­incidents go “almost unnoticed” by the relevanttive authorities.

“When men expose themselves to pupils, authorities take it lightly. It’s always the case of, ‘Well, the man did not harm the child’ or, ‘The man is not mentally stable’. The entire criminal justice system does not take these types of incidents seriously enough,” said Branfield.

Branfield said cases such as this “are definitely not harmless” and desensitise children, which ­allows a child to accept “the next step”.

“They don’t realise that this incident can scar a child for a long time. It affects their self confidence and mindset. They will start to think that the man approached them because they are not worth respecting. They will think the next step is okay because the matter was not dealt with seriously the first time,” she said.

Branfield called for the “full force of the law” to be brought down on the man and said parents need to be watchful of their children.

“The times of allowing your children to walk home or allowing them to go for sleepovers to a friend’s house is over. One cannot expect other people to look after their children and it is unfair to expect teachers to do that either,” she said.

The man appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday and has been remanded in custody until his next court appearance.

Constable Ngobese advised parents to teach their children not to “entertain” strangers especially at school and urged parents and pupils to make use of the toll free line: 086 001 0111

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  child abuse

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