A woman claiming to do the right thing to protect her three-year-old daughter is facing a criminal charge as a consequence.
She appeared briefly before magistrate Ashleigh Jennings in the Pietermaritzburg District Court on Tuesday, charged with contempt of court.
It is alleged that last month she went against a court order by not allowing the father of her daughter access to the child from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon.
She was arrested on September 10, and released on R500 bail.
Prosecutor Bruce Mkhwanazi told the court on Tuesday that the Director of Public Prosecutions is deciding what to do about the case in the wake of allegations of sexual molestation levelled by the woman against the man.
Her attorney Carlos Miranda said that the allegations are being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.
He said that the matter has been referred to the DPP for a decision and not a senior prosecutor because the man is a police officer. In addition, he added that he has issued a notice of appeal against the maintenance court’s decision allowing the man access to the child.
The woman is livid. She told The Witness that all she wants to do is protect her daughter but the justice system is standing in her way. She said that the man was given access rights to the child, despite the court having been provided with a social worker’s report from The Child and Family Welfare Society of Pietermaritzburg.
The report is dated March 29.
It said that the mother approached the society regarding the care of the child while in the care of the father.
“The natural mother is alleging that the natural father has been touching the child concerned in an inappropriate manner. The child concerned has disclosed this to her after the natural father had access to the child over the weekend. The natural mother is seeking help as she has tried keeping the child concerned away from the natural father, after the child had allegedly been molested by him, but was arrested for violating the court order,” it said.
The report added that the social worker has interviewed the child concerned and she alleged that the father hits her on her arms and her body.
“She has further stated that he touched her vagina with his fingers and also her buttocks. She has stated that she does not want to have contact with the natural father”.
The father on Tuesday rubbished the allegations, saying the woman has been trying to keep the child away from him for three years. He alleged that woman is being influenced by her mother.
“They want to get me out of the picture so that they can collect foster grant as they are doing for the woman’s older child who she has with another man.”
He said that he is paying maintenance for his daughter, which the woman is “happily” accepting.