Abused girl now in safe place

RESCUED: After eight months of abuse, this 13-year-old girl has been taken to a place of safety, thanks to Sowetan. Pic. Alfred Moselakgomo. 14/09/08. © Sowetan.
RESCUED: After eight months of abuse, this 13-year-old girl has been taken to a place of safety, thanks to Sowetan. Pic. Alfred Moselakgomo. 14/09/08. © Sowetan.

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

It took a single Sowetan report to end the eight months of alleged abuse of a 13-year-old orphan by her uncle and his wife.

After a report that shocked many people thousands of readers reacted with anger to the way the Mpumalanga department of social services had handled the orphan's case.

Sowetan reported last week on how a Grade 7 pupil had been abused since January by her uncle in Lefiso village near Marapyane, in the Hammanskraal area.

The department said it had issued food and a uniform to the girl but had still left her with her abusers.

"This action is shocking," said DA leader Anthony Bernadie. "How can the department be so naive as to believe the food would be given to the child? How can it ensure the so-called guardians don't eat it themselves or sell it?

"We feel this girl is at a very sensitive stage in her life. She has been abused twice, once by the actual abuser and now by a government that failed to protect her against her abusers."

But yesterday the department said it had removed her from her alleged abusers and placed her in a safe house in Mametlhake.

"The girl is now in our care," said spokesman Mpho Gabashane.

Teachers at Dikgabo Combined School raised the alarm after they noticed that the girl was traumatised and malnourished.

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