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Girl, 12, raped in latest child crime wave to hit Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape has been hit by a spate of sexual crimes against children. File photo.
The Eastern Cape has been hit by a spate of sexual crimes against children. File photo.
Image: Andriy Popov/www.123rf.com

A week after an Alice father opened a case of rape and kidnapping against a 21-year-old man he is perturbed that the Eastern Cape police have not arrested or questioned him.

The police, however, say officers went to the suspect's home but could not find him. 

It is alleged that a 12-year-old girl from Alice went missing from her home about a week ago and was found in Bhisho in the Eastern Cape, more than 80km away.

The girl's father, who cannot be named to protect the girl's identity, opened a missing- child case in Alice and a day later, after finding his daughter in Bhisho, opened a case of rape and kidnapping.

This week he relayed his story to our sister publication TimesLIVE, saying he had received a call from his wife that his daughter went missing last Wednesday.

"I left my work in East London and rushed home to discover that she had been missing for nearly a day," he explained.

The father of two said while searching, he received a message from his daughter saying she was fine and he must not look for her.

"She said she will come back the following day and we must not worry. A few minutes later she sent another message again saying she is afraid and needed to come back home ... when I tried calling to find out where she was … her phone was off," he said.

The following day, while continuing with the search, he received another message from his daughter saying she was in Bhisho.

"When we found her in Bhisho, she was in a terrible state ... I could see she had been violated and we took her to Grey Hospital for treatment and tests. After I received the medical report confirming my worst fear that my daughter has been raped, I went straight to the police and opened a case," he said.

"I took the police to where the man lives. He is still out there and police haven't arrested him. The investigating officer just told me he has been on standby the entire week and will only start working on my case later. When I asked if at least the suspect had been arrested, he told me not to tell him how to do his work," the frustrated father said.

 Police spokesperson Siphokazi Mawisa confirmed that a case of statutory rape had been opened and that police did go to the suspect's home but could not find him. 

An East London teenager, missing from her Vincent home since November, was reunited with her family last week after being spotted by vigilant community members who alerted law-enforcement agencies.

The 16-year-old girl was found wandering in Currie Street in Quigney, according to Cambridge police spokesperson Capt Mluleki Mbi.

He said the teen was found unharmed after community members, alerted to her disappearance through the media, spotted her near a garage and flagged down a Buffalo City metro law enforcement vehicle.

At Litha township outside King William's Town, Sanele Nkala, 18, disappeared without trace on January 11 when she went to fetch an academic report at school in February.

Nkala left home between 8am and 10am to attend Zanempucuko High School but never returned home.

On the day of her disappearance she was wearing a black leather jacket, navy jeans and a navy cap.

Two other children reported missing in the East London area in January have also not been found.

Police are desperately trying to locate one-month-old Iyana Nkumbi, who was taken from an Amalinda mall in East London, and Ovayo Mbumba, 10, from Kidd's Beach, outside East London, who was last seen leaving for school.

Nkumbi's kidnapper, who identified herself only as "Mambathane", befriended the baby boy's mother at a Duncan Village clinic and then took the mother and child to the Amalinda Shoprite mall. She disappeared with the baby when his mother went to buy medicine.

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