Alleged child abuser leaves court under police guard

2019-05-07 14:47
Caregiver abuses child at a crèche in Carletonville, Gauteng. (Supplied)

Caregiver abuses child at a crèche in Carletonville, Gauteng. (Supplied)

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Police escorted a caregiver from the Oberholzer Magistrate's Court, where an angry mob of protesters were waiting for her after she appeared in connection with child abuse allegations.

The caregiver, 40-year-old Nellie Senwametsi, was filmed allegedly assaulting minor children at a the day care centre in Carletonville and was arrested on March 26 after the footage went viral on social media.

Angry parents of children who attended the now defunct crèche protested at the court on Tuesday and asked police officers to hand Senwametsi over to them so that they could take revenge.

Senwametsi is out on R3 000 bail and has not yet pleaded to three charges of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

While in the dock on Tuesday morning, she was dressed in a pair of blue jeans and kept her eyes glued to the magistrate. She didn't turn to look in the direction of the public gallery, where people pointed their fingers at her and whispered.

Contempt

Raath reprimanded the people in the gallery, warning them that they should remain silent and threatened to detain them for contempt of court.

"This is a courtroom. There is plenty space downstairs and if you continue making a noise, you will all go down [to the holding cells]," Raath said.

The accused's legal representative, Athi Linigane, withdrew without giving reasons and a new lawyer is taking over.

The case was postponed to May 31 so that the State can obtain video footage and witness statements. 

Members of the public order police unit arrived in two vans and managed to sneak the woman out of the court building.

This angered the crowd, who charged at the police vehicles, banging, screaming and hurling insults at the woman.

"I want to show her who I am. She can't beat up my niece and think that I will leave her alone. I want to beat her up in vengeance of what she did. In me, she has met up with her match. We are both adults and parents and must fix this woman-to-woman. I want to [take] revenge for my niece. Police must not interfere with us because they were not there when she was having fun with our children.

"She is out on bail and doesn't deserve to be escorted by police. She came here happy and laughing with her family thinking she is untouchable…I didn't go to work because I wanted to physically deal with her," said one of the protesters.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, said there are instances when an accused who is out on bail is allowed to be escorted by police.

"This can only be done if there is a threat or any danger to the accused, based on assessment that would be done by officers," Peters said.

Operating on an expired licence

Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza closed the crèche, after the videos of the alleged abuse went viral, saying the institution in question had been operating on an expired licence.

"This is an illegal entity in operation. When I asked for the crèche's certificate, I looked at it and it is a 2016 certificate. The principal should have complied and applied for a new certificate, but she did not do that," she said. 

In one of the videos, a young girl is forced to clean up after she vomited. The child is slapped on her buttocks. In another video, a toddler is slapped for what appears to be a refusal to sleep, News24 earlier reported.

ALSO READ: UPDATE: Carletonville 'horror' crèche shut down, licence expired 3 years ago

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Read more on:    johannesburg  |  court  |  child abuse
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