EFF suspends member accused of child rape
A prominent member of the Economic Freedom Fighters in the Nkangala region, Mpumalanga, was served with a suspension letter in the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria where he is detained for allegedly raping a 12-year-old daughter of a family friend.
The suspension letter from the party’s provincial office seen by the Sowetan states that the 36-year-old father is suspended from partaking in any of the party activities.
Senior sources within the party’s regional structure said the letter was served to the leader last week.
“He was paid a visit (by the party’s regional structures) where he was served with the letter,” a source said.
Signed by the party’s acting provincial secretary, Ntombivuyo Mente, the letter states that the accused has been barred from wearing the party’s red “branded clothing” or representing the party in “any council, structure or platform”.
The suspect, who cannot be named as he is yet to plead to the charges, appeared in the Ekangala magistrates court last Tuesday and was remanded in custody, spending the Easter weekend in prison after his case was postponed to this Friday.
Police spokesperson, Marissa van der Merwe, said the top EFF man in the Thembisile Hani municipality was arrested last week Saturday after allegedly picking-up and driving the victim to a bush where he is alleged to have raped her.
“We are investigating a case of rape. The suspect allegedly picked up the victim and drove her to a secluded area in Ekangala where she was allegedly raped,” she said.
A close family friend, who cannot be named as this will identify the victim, said the suspect was a close friend of the victim’s father.
“The victim lost her mother a month ago and the suspect has been there for the bereaved family but now this. The law must take its course because the victim was vulnerable and if true, (the suspect) took advantage of her,” she said.
The EFF in the province said it takes the allegations against the suspect very seriously as the party was “against any form of violence against women” and that the party will offer necessary support to the victim.
A member of the party who is close to the family said they raised a storm when the matter surface and ensured that action was taken and communicated.
“We did not keep quiet and the matter was ultimately ventilated, with the provincial command office taking swift action by suspending the suspect. Justice must take the course,” she said.