Stepfather in court for alleged rape of girl, 10
A 43-YEAR-OLD man who was arrested for allegedly raping his 10-year-old stepdaughter is expected to appear in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court today.
Colonel Thembeka Mbhele confirmed yesterday that the accused would be in the dock.
In an interview with eNCA, police sokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said the investigating officer who had been assigned the case had been removed and was facing disciplinary charges and possibly criminal charges.
A new investigating officer had been given the docket.
Ward councillor Johnson Chetty said the man and child had lived in his ward for about six months after relocating from Johannesburg.
He said community members had raised the alarm about the alleged abuse.
They called the local security company, Reaction Unit SA, to help rescue the child and apprehend the man.
“The community realised the child was being held captive. Instead of having an ‘its not my business’ attitude, they were proactive. We understand that the mother passed away some years ago and the stepfather has allegedly been raping the child for five years.”
Chetty said sex toys were found in the house, which was in absolute squalor.
“It was not fit for human habitation, let alone a child,” said Chetty.
Alvin Brijlal, founder of the Victims Outreach Information Centre (Voice) also commended the community, saying neighbours and the community were vigilant.
He said perpetrators who prey on children groom them in such a manner that their victims are afraid to speak out about the abuse.
He said child abuse was rife in South Africa and while there were specialised units such as the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit, they did not have enough resources.
Dr Linda Naidoo, an independent child protection specialist, said abuse was mentally destructive.
While she could not comment on the specifics of the matter before the court, she said in circumstances where abuse came after a parent’s death, it would add to the child’s existing trauma over losing a parent.
“Losing a parent is extremely distressing, but to be left with someone who then brutalises you can make a child feel rejected. Children don’t have the ability to understand loss like adults and may rationalise it as abandonment.”
She said this type of situation could leave a child feeling betrayed and alone in the world. “The abuser sometimes uses that to cause extreme psychological turmoil by justifying to the child that they are doing this (abuse) because they are burdened with having to take care of the child,” said Naidoo.
She said abused children needed to be placed with people who knew their background in order to understand their behaviour.
“She has lost so much in such a short life. It’s crucial that stability be established in an environment where she can be counselled and cared for.”