root - October 24, 2023

Women rally outside Cape Town Magistrate Court against bail being granted to the accused bail 

  • A 61-year-old man has been charged with raping and sexually assaulting three children.
  • The girls are seven and eight years old. 

Peter Luhanga

About 50 protesters, mostly women, demonstrated outside the Cape Town Magistrate Court on Thursday against bail being sought by a 61-year-old pensioner charged with the rape and sexual assault of three children. Two of the victims are seven years old and one is eight years old. 

Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila, said the accused, who is yet to plead, is facing five charges, including rape and sexual assault. He was scheduled for a formal bail application on 26 October.

The man, a resident of Siyahlala informal settlement in Joe Slovo Park township, Milnerton, was arrested on 6 October. His initial court appearance was on 9 October.

According to the victims’ mothers—who cannot be named as that would identify the children – the accused is known to them.

The mother of the eight-year-old child said her villages in the Eastern Cape was not far from the one the accused came from. 

The children trusted him, said the mothers. They were occasionally seen going into his shack, but the parents had no idea what was going on inside. 

The mothers said the suspect would chase boys out of his shack saying: “Boys out and girls in.”

The mothers said they became aware of the situation when one of the children visited a friend who was bathing. During their conversation, the child asked her friend if the pensioner had also fondled and penetrated her vagina with his penis to which the friend replied: “No, he never has.” In response, the child mentioned the man had done so on numerous occasions to her, and her friend. As the friend continued to bathe, she asked whether the victim had told her parents about these incidents. The victim said no, and added that the man had threatened to kill both them and their parents if they ever told anyone. 

The victims’ mothers said when they were told about this, they took their children to the police, and state transport to a medical facility was arranged. A medical diagnosis confirmed the children had been raped. The mothers then opened a case at the Milnerton police station. 

Provincial police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi said the suspect was then arrested on two counts of rape. 

“We trusted him. We stay four shacks away from each other. Sometimes he would ask for salt or mielie meal. I’d give if I had,” said one of the children’s’ mothers. “I didn’t believe it when the doctor confirmed that the children were indeed raped. If he comes out on bail, I don’t know what will happen to him I hope he does not come out. I hope he doesn’t return to our area,” she said.

Two of the mothers said their children had not received any counselling or support.

Joe Slovo Park township resident and community activist Vuyiswa Kawana, 56, a mother of three children, said the accused deserved to be incarcerated for an extended period of time.

“It is very painful what he did to the children,” said Kawana, “the place is overcrowded, there is no space for children to play and when they’re outside it’s as if they are vulnerable to these sexual predators.”

Dunoon Women for Gender Equity secretary Nomvuzo Makumela, who joined the demonstration outside court, said it was important fight against gender-based violence wherever you lived. 

“We are going back to court on Thursday to ensure the accused is detained and does not come out,” said Makumela.

Ntabazalila said the state was opposing bail and the accused is being held at Pollsmoor prison.  

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *