The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) has sent social workers to the family of a 6 year-old Bonteheuwel girl, who was allegedly raped by a 53 year-old man.
Social workers will provide counselling to the victim, and ongoing psycho-social support to the family.
The suspected rapist appeared in the Bishop Lavis Magistrates Court on Monday, and is set to appear in court again tomorrow (Thursday). He was arrested by the South African Police Services (SAPS) last week Friday.
The alleged rape occurred in the man’s house, where the child and her mother live in a back-yard dwelling.
The mother reported the matter to the police, after she found the child and suspect in the bathroom within the main dwelling. The mother must be commended for having seemingly immediately launched an aggressive search for her child when she noticed the child was taking too long to return from an errand.
Her swift actions may have averted the child having been harmed any further.
Allegations that the suspect tried to bribe the child with R5, to either be sexually assaulted or not disclose the incident, are particularly outrageous. We once again appeal to our child protection partners at the SAPS to conduct a thorough investigation, and put forward a strong case for prosecution.
We must send a strong message to society that there is a zero tolerance to the neglect, abuse and murder of children in the Western Cape. Enough is enough.
It would seem once again that this incident reveals how the suspects in either incidents of child murder or in this case alleged sexual abuse are persons known and perhaps even trusted by the victim.
I continue to call on parents and communities to be extra vigilant of their children. No government can replace the role of a vigilant, responsible and engaged parent in the household. Parents are the first and most important line of defence against child abuse and murders.
Source: Government of South Africa