A Mpumalanga family says it is distressed that the police have failed, for more than a year, to arrest the man who raped their deaf and mute 21-year-old daughter.
The victim's mother believes that a security guard from Pretoria, who was allegedly accused of raping her daughter at Dwaarsloop, near Bushbuckridge, in January last year, might have bribed the police to drop the case.
The mother, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of the victim, told Sowetan that her daughter managed to give a statement using sign language at the Letaba school for the disabled in Nkowankowa, near Tzaneen.
"Police from Bushbuckridge initially said they were not taking my daughter's statement because they did not understand sign language. I asked them to take my daughter to the Letaba school where she learnt how to use sign language," said the mother.
She said that despite her daughter giving a statement, through a sign language interpreter at her old school, that the security guard was the person who had raped her, they had not arrested him. She had also positively identified the man.
The mother said the security guard had confessed to having been to the victim's home before or after visiting a neighbour.
The family claims that shortly after the guard's version of events, police were called to the scene and even took a statement from him.
Asked why the police had failed to arrest the man suspected of raping the woman even though she had pointed him out, a police spokesman said the victim's mother should go to the police station's commissioner.
Sowetan yesterday tracked down the guard, who confirmed that a case of rape had been opened against him in January last year.
"I cannot arrest myself. A case was opened against me. It is up to the police to arrest me but what I know for sure is that I'm not the one who raped that woman," the guard said.
He also told Sowetan that yesterday was his 41st birthday and it was a bad omen for him to receive a call from the media asking him about "the rape of a deaf and mute woman".
But the police spokesman said it appeared the man was on the run, otherwise he would have handed himself over to the police.