Cape Argus

Pastor accused of raping girl, 4


A MOORREESBU­RG pastor faces charges of rape and indecent assault of a four-year-old girl and will appear in the town’s magistrate’s court today.

The pastor was arrested on Thursday after a second incident allegedly occurred. He was not apprehende­d after the first incident allegedly took place in May. Police spokespers­on FC van Wyk confirmed that the 49-yearold would appear in court today.

Executive director at Ukubavimba Foundation and legal practition­er, Venice Burgins, who had assisted the family of the victim said: “I’ll be sitting today in court as a friend of the court.

“I’m supporting the family to see that justice is done in this matter and will definitely ask the magistrate not to grant the accused bail. Sexual cases in rural towns are just as rife as in urban areas.

“The family approached me and asked how I could help them to get the matter heard in court. The family told me about their 4-year-old child who was allegedly indecently assaulted.

“At Moorreesbu­rg police station we don’t have a social worker or psychologi­st. The nearest counsellin­g service is available in Malmesbury.”

The 23-year-old mother reported the matter after she noticed her child behaving strangely and the hospital confirmed that the child had been penetrated.

According Burgins, after the first alleged incident this year she went to great lengths to help get the matter on the court roll.

She added that the police acted only after a completed report on September 8 after the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Unit had concluded its interviews.

Residents are fuming about the fact that the suspect was not arrested after the first alleged incident in May.

Billy Claassen, executive director for the Rural and Farm workers Developmen­t Organisati­on, said: “People have been mobilised to attend the court proceeding­s this morning and will be calling on the magistrate not to grant the pastor bail.

“There’s a nationwide outcry against such crimes committed against women and children. For the accused’s own safety, it’s best that he be kept behind bars for the duration of the trial.”

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