Family alleges cops failed them

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

A KwaZulu-Natal North Coast family is fuming and calling the police to account after their 14-year-old daughter was allegedly raped by two men shortly after she was turned away from the KwaDukuza police station.

The child was allegedly turned away by security guards on duty at the station's gates.

The victim and her 19-year-old cousin had accompanied her aunt and uncle to the police station on Saturday. The girl's uncle is a policeman at the station, but was off duty at the time.

The children were apparently sent to buy air time at a local garage. When they returned to the police station, security guards at the gates turned them away.

The victim said she and her cousin had no choice, but to walk back to their home in Groutville, five kilometres away. However, before they reached their home, they were confronted by six boys armed with knives. She said while four of the boys chased her relative, the other two took her into the bush and raped her.

"Once they finished, they left. I was so frightened. I put on my pants and left. I did not know where I was going because I am not familiar with the place.

"I met someone who was going to work. He helped me and called the police. I left my shoes and underwear at the scene," the girl said, sobbing.

She began counselling sessions at the local KwaDukuza Hospital yesterday.

Her mother has accused police of failing to investigate the rape immediately after the family called to report the abduction and lay rape charges.

The mother alleges that the family were told by the officer on duty that it was too late and that all the vans had gone out.

"If police cannot help us, who will? At the end of the day you will get arrested for taking the law into your own hands," she said.

Now she wants police to explain why her daughter was chased away from the police station.

"Had the security guards not turned her away, she would not have been raped," said the angry mother.

To add to the trauma, she said, she found her child unattended and sleeping on a bench when she arrived at the police station six hours later.

"When I confronted the policeman on duty he told me that my child was drunk," the mother said. "He said they wanted her to sober up before taking a statement from her.

"My child does not drink. Her clothes are still at the scene where she was raped. The police have not bothered to go to the scene where she was raped.".

Yesterday KwaDukuza station commissioner Superintendent Raveen Mathura said the matter was being investigated.

He confirmed that a rape case had been opened and that the child had been taken to a district surgeon for a medical examination. He denied that the police had neglected the child. Mathura said abuse against women and children were a priority at his station.

"We got statements from the security guards who are alleged to have chased the children away from the station.

"We will investigate this matter thoroughly. We will then take action against the guilty party or parties," promised Mathura.

Two weeks ago the station was presented with a service excellence award by provincial MEC for community liaison Bheki Cele for "their sterling work".