Girl, 5, rescued after sex act-for-food claim

2017-10-27 19:26


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Cape Town - A neglected 5-year-old girl from a shack settlement in Diep River, Cape Town, has been rescued after allegedly performing sexual acts with older men to survive, the Western Cape Department of Social Development said on Friday.

"The child was allegedly being abused and forced to perform sex-acts on older men for money and food," said spokesperson Sihle Ngobese.

"Shockingly, it is alleged that it is the child’s mother who exposed the little girl to older men, for sexual exploitation."

He said neighbours reported that the child was being neglected and allegedly exploited by her own mother.

"Thankfully, vigilant neighbours noticed that the child is often left alone at home, and acted to report the matter," said Ngobese.

The Daily Voice newspaper reported that one of the neighbours from Die Gaatjie informal settlement got hold of them to say they were worried about the girl.

They reportedly heard her crying and understood that her mother was a sex worker who slept at a cemetery.

Ngobese said that in line with the Children’s Act of 2005, social workers intervened to protect the girl as its main priority, and would then ask police to investigate claims of sexual abuse.

He urged anybody concerned about an abandoned, abused or missing child to contact the department's hotline on 0800 220 250.

Western Cape police spokesperson Lt-Col Andrè Traut said their office had no "record of the matter".

Ngobese said they hoped to get to the police later after first attending to the girl.

According to ward councillor Kevin Southgate, the 15-year-old settlement is generally neat, with about 360 people living in around 60 structures.

The land is owned by the Passenger Rail Agency of SA, and services such as electricity are being introduced.

He said the majority of the children living there go to school.

Read more on:    cape town  |  child abuse

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