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Johannesburg - She was throttled with her mother’s bra, raped and then stabbed multiple times as her four-year-old brother looked on.
The 11-year-old girl’s parents had just left their Bramfischerville, Soweto, home for work when her attacker pounced just after 6am.
Bleeding profusely and unable to talk properly, the girl managed to make her way to a neighbour’s house after the attacker left. All she had on was a T-shirt and a throw blanket.
“Why didn’t he take things he wanted and leave my child alone? She is harmless,” said the girl’s mother, adding that she was grateful that her daughter was able to go and seek help.
The woman, who cannot be named to protect her daughter’s identity, was at work in Kempton Park when neighbours called to tell of the incident, which she referred to as “heartbreaking”.
“Had she not rushed to our neighbour, maybe we could be talking a different story. Maybe she would have died from the bleeding,” she said.
As neighbours frantically tried to stop the bleeding while waiting for an ambulance to rush the girl to hospital, the distraught mother caught a train from Kempton Park as her sister, the girl’s aunt, waited for her in the Joburg CBD so that they could drive together to hospital.
On Wednesday night, the girl’s condition was described as critical, and her mother said she had received some stitches.
The attacker gained entry by kicking open the door of their RDP house and demanded money from the victim and her younger brother.
“I’d kill the man who did this to my sister if I knew him,” said the girl’s 19-year-old brother, who lives with their grandmother in nearby Dobsonville.
He usually checks up on his siblings around 10am and spends the day with them until his parents return from work.
“I’m saddened by this. No one wishes to see their younger sister go through such pain,” said the man, adding that he felt the incident could not have happened if he lived with his parents and siblings.
As police combed the scene for evidence, curious neighbours stood around in clumps, as others looked on from their yards.
Neighbour, Lerato Mokoena said she was concerned about the rate of crime in the area. She said their community policing forum had stopped patrolling in the area for various reasons and that it was time it reconsidered the decision.
“Our children are not safe in this place. This child didn’t deserve to be harmed in this manner. Why didn’t this man (the attacker) take whatever he wanted and leave them in peace? We are hurt as parents and as community members,” said Mokoena.
Soweto police spokesman Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said: “This man allegedly raped her, stabbed her… we are investigating a case of attempted murder, rape and housebreaking.”