Neighbour in court for rape of 5-year-old girl

23 November 2017 - 15:31
By Petru Saal
Gavel in front of judge
Image: STOCK IMAGE Gavel in front of judge

She was promised a fidget spinner. Without hesitation the five-year-old then allegedly accompanied her neighbour to the shop to buy the toy in August.

On Thursday he stood in the dock at the Mitchells Plain Magistrates Court‚ accused of raping the child he had known since the day she was born.

Residents‚ community activists and family were baying for his blood outside the court. The guardian of the child said she is terribly traumatised. She said the girl cannot even watch violence on television. She bursts into tears and begs her to switch the television off.

After the rape the child ran home and explained exactly what had happened.

“The only thing I could think of at the time was to console her and make sure she is okay‚” said the woman.

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But the family will have peace of mind knowing that the man will remain in custody until next year. “In order to get to the shops you have to walk across the field and that is where it happened‚ where he raped her.”

She said the child will go to pre-school next year but since the incident‚ she has become very protective of the little girl.

“It is as if he waited for the right moment to attack her because he lives two doors from us. [She] knows him and she trusted him‚” said the woman.

The 49-year-old is set to appear in court again on January 23.

Joanie Fredericks from Mitchell’s Plain’s Crisis Forum is glad that he will remain in custody for the festive season. “This case is weighing really badly on the community. The biological mother of the daughter is in a very bad state. She cannot cope with what happened to her daughter‚” said Fredericks.

She explained that even though the case has been going on for months‚ the MPCF will seek every legal avenue to ensure that rapists remain behind bars and off the street where they could further harm others.