'Help rape victim and her mom'
POLICE Minister Nathi Mthethwa urged residents of Braamfischerville in Soweto to support the family of the 17-year-old girl who was gang-raped by seven males.
During a visit to the family of the mentally ill girl yesterday, Mthethwa said: "The main objective of this visit is to urge the community to support this family and not to victimise the mother during this time".
The girl's sister, who cannot be named to protect the girl's identity, refused to speak to the media about the matter.
Her sister grabbed headlines last week when a shocking phone video emerged showing seven males gang-raping the teenager. The girl was said to be missing for a few weeks, but was found in the company of a 37-year-old man who claimed to be her boyfriend.
The man and the seven males, including two minors, appeared in the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court last week.
Following his visit to the family, Mthethwa spoke to residents and urged them to show their support.
Many of the residents were angry and accused the government of not doing enough to help parents of children with mental illnesses.
"We don't see you," Flora Motlhake said to the minister when he tried to explain who within the government would be best able to help.
Motlhake is the mother of a 13-year-old mentally ill girl who has experienced similar problems. "My daughter was almost raped. Luckily there was no penetration, but we went to the Protea court and the case went nowhere."
The Kliptown station commander gave her his details and promised to follow up.
Another mother, Daisy Moerane, has a 27-year-old mentally ill son and said she understood the difficulty the mother of the victim was experiencing.
"We cannot wrap our kids around us all the time. They are growing and cannot be locked up all the time," she said.
Moerane said the older her son got the more difficult it was to raise him.
"He's a man, but he's also a boy and it's very difficult to raise him and keep watch of him constantly."
Mthethwa also fielded questions concerning claims that acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi was being told by someone or some people who he could and could not investigate.
"We have said in the past what we think of the matter. As far as we are concerned, there is nothing from our side," Mthethwa insisted.
Concerning public protector Thuli Madonsela's investigation, Mthethwa said the media ought to ask her the questions because he did not know.
However, his spokesman Zweli Mnisi offered a statement. "As we speak the auditor-general is busy with the investigation. Let us await the finalisation of the investigation and then we can comment."
The seven males are appearing in court today.