The mother of a teenage girl who was raped in Emmaus in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal, was allegedly persuaded to accept cattle as a gesture to pay for damages after her daughter's ordeal.
KZN MEC for Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza, and MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka, will on Thursday visit the family of the girl who was allegedly raped in Bergville.
Cogta said the aim of the visit is to obtain details regarding progress on the matter after police reportedly failed to arrest the alleged perpetrator.
The department said it is alleged that the teenager was threatened with a knife and assaulted, resulting in her teeth being knocked before being raped last month.
“The reports have further revealed that the family of the victim has persuaded the victim's mother to accept cattle as a gesture to pay for damages after her daughter's ordeal,” said the department.
Social Development MEC Khoza said this conduct is abhorrent, unacceptable and falls far short of Ubuntu.
“As the caring government, we are not going to sit on our laurels while our children suffer abuse in the communities. Such incidents can never be swept under the carpet, with some people thinking that they will pay inhlawulo ( a form of payment as an apology) after rape,” said Khoza.
She said a team of social workers has already been assigned to the teenager’s case.
Khoza said she intends to obtain more details on how the police have failed to arrest the alleged perpetrator after they were pointed to his hiding place.
Cogta MEC Hlomuka said his department wants to assess the functionality of the police station and investigate the allegations that have been made by communities on the lack of investigations and arrest when such cases are reported to this police station.
Hlomuka said they will convene an urgent meeting with the police station's management and the teenager's family.
As part of this visit, the two MEC’s will engage with the Traditional Council and other stakeholders in an effort to ensure that such incidents are dealt with in a manner that is appropriate and that all stakeholders play their part in the protection of the rights of women and children as the province and country celebrate Women’s Month.
“This government cannot fail the most vulnerable members of society who rely on us. We want to ensure that all involved in the cases of abuse and rapes are arrested,” said Khoza.