Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
Cape Town - A janitor raped a man’s seven-year-old daughter on school grounds while she was supposed to be safe at aftercare. Now, seven years later, her father is set to sue the Western Cape education department and its MEC for at least R2 million in damages.
On Friday, the Western Cape High Court gave the father, who cannot be named to protect his daughter’s identity, the green light to institute legal action.
This came after he initially hit a legal snag: he had failed to serve the department with a notice of his intention to sue it in time.
This happened more than four years after the rape took place, raising concerns that any claim his daughter might have had to compensation had expired.
The father subsequently applied to the High Court to condone his late filing of the notice - an application which was unopposed and has now been granted.
In an affidavit submitted to the court, the father told of how his daughter, who is now 14, had been left severely traumatised by the rape.
The man responsible for raping her, Bronwill Daniels, is serving a life sentence in jail for the crime. He was found guilty and sentenced in the Parow Regional Court in March, 2008.
Daniels’s conviction came three years after he raped the child on the grounds of a northern suburbs school where he worked as a janitor.
In the father’s affidavit, he said he had two daughters who attended the school in 2005.
His older girl’s school day was longer, requiring him to put his younger daughter in aftercare for an hour before family members collected them both.
On March 2, 2005, his wife discovered something was wrong while washing their daughter for school.
She complained that her private parts ached and started crying.
They had a doctor examine her and he found that she had been raped by an adult.
The father said he had been advised that the school’s principal and teachers had a legal duty to ensure the safety of children who attend both the school and the aftercare.
“In particular, the teachers and supervisors who were on duty at the aftercare centre had to ensure that the children who were supposed to attend the aftercare centre were in fact in the classes provided for by the school at the aftercare centre and ensure that they were not left alone in the school grounds,” he said.
He alleged that they had breached their duties because they had failed to take proper care of his daughter.
This had resulted in the janitor raping her “while she was supposed to be safely ensconced in the classrooms”.
She now needed therapy to treat her emotional and psychological trauma, which the family could not afford.
They had relocated to Pretoria in 2009. - Cape Times