Girl, 10, recognises her attacker among guests at traditional function

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A 10-year-old girl attending a traditional ceremony in Ging- indlovu, northern KwaZulu- Natal, at the weekend recognised a man among the guests who had allegedly raped her in a sugar-cane field recently.

The man was arrested by the local community policing forum.

The man allegedly raped the girl when she was returning from a grocery store with two of her friends.

The suspect was standing near a sugar-cane field and allegedly approached them and asked the girl to run an errand for him while the other two girls went home with the groceries.

The rapist then took the girl inside a cane field and raped her. He allegedly threatened to kill the girl if she told anyone about the rape.

However, she told her parents, who reported the matter to the police.

Police spokesman Jay Naicker said the girl had told police that she could point out the man if she were to see him again.

Naicker said the girl and her friends had recognised the man among the guests at a traditional function and the area's community policing forum were alerted.

The policing forum acted swiftly when the girl and her friends alerted them and arrested the suspect.

Naicker said they were pleased that the suspect, who lives in the area, was behind bars.

"This further serves to reinforce our belief that a community that is actively involved in policing can turn the tide against crime," said Naicker.

The suspect was expected to appear in court yesterday.

Childline spokesman Joan Van Niekerk said rapists continued raping and getting away with their acts because blame was usually assigned to the victim rather than the rapist.

She said: "There are no police officers trained to deal with rape victims. We get cases of victims who experience problems at police stations when they report rape.

"Criminal justice officials trained to deal with rape victims, especially child victims, should be rolled out."