‘Child rapist must rot in jail’

Angry ECD representatives protesti outside the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.
Angry ECD representatives protesti outside the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.

Representatives of various Early Child Development centres (ECDs) from around the province gathered outside the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday 28 October for the bail hearing of a Philippi man accused of raping his five-year-old daughter. They want the accused to be denied bail.

The 58-year-old man was arrested on Thursday for allegedly raping his daughter on numerous occasions.

Amid a strong crowd presence, the man appeared in court and his case was postponed to Wednesday 20 November.

Nyanga police station spokesperson Capt. Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi said the accused will remain in custody until his next court appearance.

Nomsa Soga, a principal at the crèche where the victim attends school, said staff noticed a change in the child’s behaviour. She said the child started urinating in her underwear late last year even while playing with other children. “I immediately phoned her father and asked him to take her to the clinic,” she said, adding that he promised to have the child examined.Soga said she trusted the father, but early this year staff noticed that the child defecated while sitting. “I reported her to the social workers and they told me to ask her parents to take her to the clinic,” said Soga, adding that she is not sure if the child was taken to the clinic.

Soga said things got out of control on Wednesday 23 October when the child informed a member of the staff that she had been raped by her father.

She said they took her to a clinic for tests conducted by a doctor.

They were then referred to Thuthuzela Care Centre in Manenberg. “That is where I found that all along the victim is staying with her father and her mother died. She was sleeping with her father on the same bed,” said Soga.

Theodora Luthuli, chairperson of the United Networking Organisation, said they want the accused to rot in jail. The organisation is an umbrella body for all the ECDs in the Cape metro, including Malmesbury.

“We are saying enough is enough. The culprit doesn’t deserve to live in our society. We want the justice to prevail,” she said.

Luthuli described the abuse of women and children as serious and something that required government’s undivided attention.

“We are dealing with these cases every day in our centres, and in most cases when we encounter situations like these we refer them to social workers,” she said.

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