A 42-YEAR-OLD suspect, believed to be a pastor living in the Newton area, was arrested in December, 2015 for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl.
SAPS provincial spokesperson, Major Thulani Zwane confirmed that a case of rape was opened at the KwaDukuza SAPS after a 15-year-old girl was raped by three men on different occasions.
Police also confirmed that the other two men, who are unknown to the victim, were not arrested.
“A 42-year-old suspect was arrested and appeared in the KwaDukuza Magistrate’s Court on 14 December, 2015. The case was remanded to 8 February,” said Zwane.
According to a source closely related to the victim’s family and who asked not to be named, the suspect, who is known to the family, allegedly raped the victim sometime in April last year.
However, during the period of the incident, the victim had informed her mother that the suspect was “harassing her, “trying to kiss her and touching her private part”.
When the victim was asked why she had not reported the matter as rape, she told her mother that she “was too afraid to tell the truth because the suspect had threatened to take her and her mother’s life if she ever told anyone about the rape,” said the source.
“Sometime in December last year, the victim learnt that she was pregnant and when medical tests were conducted it was discovered that she fell pregnant around the same time that she had reported the harassment,” the source added.
The source said the victim later revealed that in two incidents the suspect had been with two of his friends who had allegedly raped her as well.
On 9 December, 2015 the mother attempted to open a rape case with the KwaDukuza SAPS, however, said the source the KwaDukuza SAPS refused to open a case on the grounds that the child’s statement was confusing and there was insufficient evidence to arrest the suspect.
This was not the first time the mother had apparently been turned away because when she reported the harassment in April, 2015 to the KwaDukuza SAPS, the suspect had denied the allegations and the Kwa- Dukuza SAPS did not open a case stating there was insufficient evidence, said the source.
“After the police had reportedly questioned the veracity of the child’s statement and an argument ensued between the mother and two police officials, the mother decided to leave and return the following day on 10 December, 2015,” said the source.
The next day the mother went to the Child Protection Unit where a constable was assigned to the case and that official allegedly told the mother the suspect would be arrested later that day, said the source.
Worried about the victim’s safety since the suspect had not been arrested, three days later the mother’s sister then apparently contacted a high ranking official in the provincial health department asking them to intervene.
According to the source the official then contacted council speaker Thulani Khuluse who, after meeting with the victim’s family, contacted KwaDukuza cluster commander, Brigadier Bheki Zondi and asked him to assist the family.
Speaking to the Weekly, Zondi said the mother of the victim had lodged a complaint regarding the KwaDukuza SAPS’ handling of the matter.
“The mother lodged a complaint and we are still conducting an internal investigation,” said Zondi.
KwaDukuza SAPS spokesperson, warrant officer Johannes Khoza said the officials that were on duty on 9 December, 2015 had not refused to open a case of rape.
“Police officers do not refuse to open a case against anyone, the officials that were on duty at the time wanted to get advice first from the relevant unit, which is the Child Protection Unit,” said Khoza.
He said Lieutenant S.V. Mchunu assisted the victim’s mother to open a case.
He said Lieutenant S.V. Mchunu and Constable Mghobozi from Umhlali SAPS acted on instructions from Zondi and proceeded to eBandla Hotel in Ballito where the suspect was arrested.
“On 11 December the suspect was arrested and temporarily detained in Umhlali before being transferred to KwaDukuza,” said Khoza.
He said on 15 December the suspect was granted R3 000 bail with the condition that he stays away from KwaDukuza.
Zwane said: “A case of rape is being investigated by KwaDukuza FCS unit. After an intensive investigation, the suspect was arrested a day after the case was opened.”Investigations are continuing.