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Local people vow to kill 12-year-old's dad if court grants him bail

By unknown | Mar 01, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

A 45-year-old man was arrested by the police in Dundee, northern KwaZulu-Natal, yesterday after accusations by his 12-year-old stepdaughter of repeated rape.

The case has angered residents of Avoca township, who have vowed to kill the man if he returns to the community.

The teenager told the police and her mother that she had been repeatedly raped by her stepfather since last year. She said she was afraid to speak out because her stepfather had threatened to kill her if she did.

The police were alerted to the allegations on Tuesday when the girl disappeared from her home. When she returned, she told her mother about her alleged ordeal.

"Our children are not safe anymore because of evil men. How can a real man sleep with his wife and with his daughter?" asked the girl's mother.

Police spokesman Shooz Magudulela said the stepfather had been arrested and the girl had been taken to a hospital for a medical examination.

"The man is expected to appear in court soon. But the community has vowed to kill him if the court grants him bail," Magudulela said.

Liesel Gerntholtz, a gender activist and director of the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, said in cases such as this it was important for mothers to be aware of changes in the behaviour of their child.

"Victims at this age often suffer behavioral changes that are not easily explained.

"There could be a number of signs, including the child not sleeping, not performing well at school if she is a good student, or showing fear."

Gerntholtz said she hoped that the prosecutor would bring the child's situation to the attention of the magistrate during the bail application.

"In this instance, the victim was afraid to speak out because she feared being killed," said Gerntholtz.

"One hopes the magistrate will consider this and not grant him bail. If bail is considered, it should be granted on condition the perpetrator is denied contact with the victim and the family."

She said it was important that the child receive counselling and social care throughout the trial.


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