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Man who allegedly raped children caught months later – after police failed to open case

- THOBEKA NGEMA thobeka.ngema@inl.co.za

IT HAS been revealed that a matter involving five sexually abused children was reported to Nongoma police in October 2022, but no case was opened.

The Ayanda Msweli Foundation revealed this after visiting the Msimang family in the Kwaminyama­nzi area in Nongoma, Kwazulu-natal, on March 2, after receiving a complaint about children having been sexually abused.

The foundation said five children in total had been violated by the suspect. “The matter was reported to the Nongoma police in October 2022, but there was no case opened,” it said.

However, impressive developmen­ts had subsequent­ly taken place, it added.

“We returned to the families of the five children on March 3 with Brigadier Makhathini and her team, and the case was officially opened. Furthermor­e, the 20-year-old … has been arrested,” the foundation said.

It appreciate­d the urgent response of the SAPS in the matter in partnershi­p with the office of the premier.

“We look forward to receiving feedback about further action being taken regarding the police who did not treat the matter with urgency when the families reported it in October 2022.”

KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-ncube commended the police who swiftly arrested the suspect, who allegedly sexually abused five children aged between 4 and 12.

Dube-ncube said: “The arrest of a suspect is a positive developmen­t.

“It is important that perpetrato­rs are held accountabl­e for their actions.

“It is equally important to acknowledg­e the bravery of the Kwaminyama­nzi community members who came forward to report the abuse, and the law enforcemen­t officials who apprehende­d the perpetrato­r.

“It is also important to recognise that survivors may require ongoing psycho-social support and resources to heal and recover.”

Dube-ncube said social workers were going to visit the family and the victims fr psycho-social support following the trauma they had suffered.

However, Dube-ncube said she was concerned about the fact that the incident had initially been reported to Kwanongoma police station in October 2022, but no case had been opened. “We condemn the lackadaisi­cal behaviour of the police, who did not treat the matter with the urgency it deserved. I urge police management to investigat­e the matter and implement consequenc­e management on those found guilty of turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to this pressing case.”

Dube-ncube said the sexual abuse of children was a pandemic which needed to be nipped in the bud before it spread like wildfire.

“Sexual abuse of young people is a cancer that eats away at the fibre of society. If left unattended it threatens to destroy the cohesive nature of our community. It is our collective responsibi­lity to work towards creating a safer society, where we protect the rights of women and children, (and) where all individual­s can live free from the threat of sexual violence and exploitati­on.”

Police spokespers­on Lieutenant-colonel Nqobile Gwala confirmed that the Ulundi family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit was investigat­ing five charges of rape after five children raped by a known suspect in Nongoma. “A 19-year-old suspect was arrested in Nongoma. He is due in the Nongoma Magistrate’s Court today.”

Reacting to allegation­s that police did not open a case, Fikile Fiks Dlodlo said people who did not do the jobs they had been hired to do should be punished. “It’s the one thing that makes people reluctant to report to the police.”

Sthembiso Mabaso said the police were just watching. He questioned why the case had not been opened in October last year. Whatsapp your views on this story at 071 485 7995

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