Family says it was second assault

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A 41-year-old Limpopo man was arrested yesterday for allegedly locking up his eight-year-old niece in a house and raping her for three days.

This was the second incident involving the man and the child.

In the first instance, the suspect, whose name cannot be released to protect the identity of the victim, was allegedly found on top of the child by her mother.

He apparently settled the matter out of court with his sister, the child's mother.

In the latest incident, the mother had allegedly gone on a drinking binge with her boyfriend when the uncle forced himself on the young girl.

The incident happened at Rotterdam village in the Hlanganani area, outside Giyani.

Police spokesman in Hlanganani, Gezani Makhuvela, said the suspect went to visit the victim's mother on Friday, but found she had gone to a tavern with her boyfriend.

The young girl was left at home with four of her siblings.

Makhuvela said the suspect allegedly offered to sleep at the house with the five children.

But he allegedly chased the other children away in the middle of the night, saying they should go find their mother.

He allegedly told the victim to remain behind with him while the others went in search of their mother.

"When the children returned the suspect allegedly refused to open the door, saying they should first find their mother," Makhuvela said.

"The children told us they slept outside until the next day. The suspect only opened the door when neighbours threatened to break the door for the children to enter," he said.

After he opened the door and the neighbours realised what had happened to the child, they felt it would be improper to open a case with the police before informing the victim's mother.

When she finally returned two days later, the matter was reported and a district surgeon confirmed penetration.

The suspect appeared in the Hlanganani magistrate's court and was denied bail.