Thu Oct 20 23:31:29 SAST 2016

my child's rapists are still at large

By Canaan Mdletshe | Aug 13, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A single mother has pleaded with the authorities to help her bring two men suspected of raping her mentally disabled daughter to book.

One of the alleged rapists is a senior police officer.

The first rape allegedly took place in 2003 when the girl was 17 years old.

The second, allegedly by the other suspect, who has since disappeared, happened early this year.

The daughter is now 23.

The mother, who has four children, is from Skhemelele Reserve at Manguzi, northern Zululand.

She says she has now been forced to take her daughter along to her place of work to protect her "from sex-starved men" who want to take advantage of her.

"My child was born like that and she can't even go to school. I am also illiterate and did not have a stable job, but I had to support my children after the death of their father.

"On April 23 2003, my daughter was raped by someone we know. The suspect, a policeman, was stationed at Manguzi police station."

She said her daughter was walking by herself when she was allegedly raped. She said they got to know about the incident when her daughter was found crying hysterically at a taxi rank.

"When people asked her why she was crying, she told them that umalume (uncle) had given her a lift, drove into the bush and raped her. He later gave her sweets and a R100 note.

"After the ordeal, he dumped her at the taxi rank," she said.

The mother said while people were questioning her, the suspect drove past and she was able to identify him. He was chased, caught and police were called.

She said they took her daughter to a doctor, who confirmed that she had been raped.

"The problem is that the case was postponed several times until I gave up because my employers were not happy about my absenteeism.

"But not once did he appear in court, they would just postpone the case in his absence," she said.

Sowetan has a copy of a subpoena ordering the officer to appear in court. The trial date, according to the letter, was set for August 13 2007.

The second suspect, thought to be a minor, was brought to court by his parents, but he escaped and has not been seen since.

"I don't know what more to do. I believe they are doing this because I am a nobody and my daughter is mentally disturbed.

"I am now forced to bring her along with me to work. I don't want her to work but I have no choice because if I leave her at home, they would abuse her again."

Bridgette Shabalala, the head of the provincial department of justice and constitutional development, has promised to thoroughly investigate both cases.

"I am saddened by this. I will find the investigating officer and get to the bottom of this," she promised.


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