TWO Mpumalanga cousins, aged 9 and 10, have been diagnosed with the dreaded "cauliflower" - a sexually transmitted disease - after they were allegedly raped by their uncle.
The girls, from the Houtkop Border Post between Mpumalanga and Swaziland, had shared the bedroom with their 25-year-old uncle who has since fled the area.
Their plight was discovered on Good Friday when the 10-year-old girl's mother, attending adult basic education classes, returned home for the weekend.
The nine-year-old victim is the daughter of the alleged perpetrator's brother.
Piet Retief police spokesperson Constable Dudu Vilakazi yesterday confirmed the incident, saying the girl's 25-year-old mother reported it to the police on Saturday.
Vilakazi said the police were now searching for the alleged rapist.
The girl's mother said she arrived home at about 6pm on Good Friday and her daughter told her that she had growths (cauliflower-like lumps) on her private parts and that they were very painful.
"I let her lie on a bench so that I could see what the problem was," the mother said.
"I was shocked to see that my daughter had cauliflower. She told me her cousin had a similar sickness. The cousin's condition is more serious because the cauliflower is large. She says she was raped in October last year.
"I know about cauliflower because a local girl died from the same disease last year," the mother said.