Parents in the Eastern Cape are going to feel the heat in the drive by the police to reduce child rapes in the province.
Captain Mongezi Mafanya, of the Mthatha police's child protection unit, told Sowetan the police have dug deeper into the Criminal Procedure Act and have found that the parents of a raped child can be charged with child neglect.
Mafanya said that young girls were often left alone at home while their mothers visited a shebeen and it was in the mother's absence that children were raped.
Mafanya said that a 28-year-old woman from Elliotdale, near Mthatha, had been charged with neglecting her seven-year-old daughter.
While the mother was away from home, reportedly drinking, her child was raped.
Mafanya said that in the former Transkei, 13 people aged between 14 and 74 years were raped during the Christmas holidays. One person has been arrested.
Since the beginning of this month, police records show that 24 people between the ages of 10 and 66 years have been raped.
The police warned that rapists often pounce when a victim returns home from a shop or from fetching firewood and is left alone at home, and when the victim harvesting mealies or herding livestock.