Save our girls

Sunday Express - - LEADER -

We can only hope that the al­le­ga­tions of rape that have been lev­elled against a former min­is­ter (a former min­is­ter of law for that mat­ter) are not true.

We also hope that the al­le­ga­tions that the fam­ily of the vic­tim (who hap­pens to be an or­phan and mi­nor) kept the rape a se­cret un­til the vic­tim was vis­i­bly preg­nant are not true.

We fur­ther hope that the al­le­ga­tions that the Mo­hale’s Hoek po­lice (where the al­leged crime was first re­ported) did not lift a fin­ger to in­ves­ti­gate the al­leged crime are not true.

else­where in this edi­tion, we carry the story of the al­leged rape of a 17 year-old girl by a former min­is­ter in the former seven par­ties’ coali­tion that was headed by Pakalitha Mo­sisili.

rape is a se­ri­ous crime that vi­o­lates the dig­nity of any hu­man be­ing and it is very com­mon to learn of vic­tims who never suc­ceed in over­com­ing the re­sul­tant trauma and it neg­a­tively shapes their be­hav­iour and at­ti­tudes to fel­low hu­man be­ings for the re­main­der of their lives.

rape is a form of vi­o­lence just like the phys­i­cal as­saults and beat­ings that peo­ple in our so­ci­ety es­pe­cially women and chil­dren are sub­jected to on a con­stant ba­sis.

It is a tes­ta­ment of how soul­less a na­tion we have be­come that a man of high stand­ing such as a former min­is­ter of law should be a sus­pect in a crime as se­ri­ous as rape.

not only is the man in ques­tion sup­posed to be a fa­ther fig­ure to the poor or­phaned girl who he al­legedly turned into prey for his sex­ual grat­i­fi­ca­tion, the man also presided over the very min­istry which is sup­posed to safe­guard the rights of all cit­i­zens in­clud­ing the help­less girl child.

As if his ac­tions in rap­ing the child were not cruel enough, the man had the au­dac­ity to com­mit the crime with­out pro­tec­tion as ev­i­denced by the re­sul­tant preg­nancy. this is all the more in­cosider­ate con­sid­er­ing the HIV/AIDS preva­lence rates of about 25 per­cent- the sec­ond high­est in the world af­ter eSwa­tini.

As we have stated be­fore, rape is a se­ri­ous crime which needs to be re­ported and in­ves­ti­gated at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity. We there­fore find it not strange and ap­palling that the Mo­hale’s Hoek po­lice did not lift a fin­ger to in­ves­ti­gate the al­leged crime when it was re­ported to them. In such sit­u­a­tions, the rea­son­able con­clu­sion is that there was an at­tempt to pro­tect the sus­pect be­cause he has a per­son of in­flu­ence and high stand­ing in so­ci­ety.

If the claims against the Mo­hale’s Hoek po­lice are true, then they must hang their heads in shame for fail­ing the defenceless and vul­ner­a­ble cit­i­zens that they are sup­posed to pro­tect.

Such re­ports are com­ing at a time when we, along with the rest of the na­tion, were start­ing to be­lieve that the po­lice had turned over a new leaf af­ter the in­ci­dents of the past few years where they, along with the army were caught up in se­ri­ous hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions which con­trib­uted to the in­sta­bil­ity in the coun­try.

It was even our sin­cere hope that the po­lice were learn­ing so much about the pro­tec­tion of hu­man rights from their col­leagues in the South­ern African De­vel­op­ment com­mu­nity (SADc) Standby Force which has been in the coun­try and pro­vid­ing train­ing in polic­ing since De­cem­ber 2017.

the fam­ily of the vic­tim must also be cen­sured for at­tempt­ing the hide the al­leged of­fence. they prob­a­bly would have suc­ceeded in their de­spi­ca­ble ac­tions had it not been for some com­mu­nity mem­bers whose sus­pi­cions were aroused when they no­ticed that the vic­tim was preg­nant.

If the po­lice can no longer be re­lied upon to in­ves­ti­gate crimes and pro­tect vic­tims, then the coun­try is head­ing down a dark dan­ger­ous path to re­pres­sion and in­se­cu­rity. Ours can only be­come a bro­ken na­tion of trau­ma­tised peo­ple if the fam­ily unit is seen to abet­ting crimes in­stead of re­port­ing sus­pects and pro­tect­ing poor in­no­cent vic­tims.

Ours is a na­tion that was founded on the val­ues of peace, love and tol­er­ance. this is an ad­mirable trin­ity of val­ues that we would do well to re­turn to.

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