Limpopo - Four years on, justice appears to be in sight for the 7-year-old Limpopo girl who was allegedly raped by three men.
Dikeledi* was allegedly first raped in 2010 when she was a 3-year-old still doing Grade R.
John Mogodi, 29, one of the men accused of raping the Grade 2 pupil, appeared on Tuesday in the Mankweng Sexual Offences Court.
It emerged in court that Mogodi faces two more rape charges, prompting magistrate Patrick Cloete to postpone his case to July 28-29 for him to stand trial on all three rape charges.
It turned out that the latest two rape complainants were women aged 72 and 75.
Neither Dikeledi nor her ailing mother were in court on Tuesday, but the two elderly women – accompanied by three relatives – were present.
All five were sworn in as witnesses in the two cases. They stood motionless in the witness box. Some of them stared at Mogodi while he was standing in the dock.
His one hand was cuffed to the hand of another rape accused, who appeared in a separate case.
The two elderly women and Dikeledi stay in Mmamatsha village in the Ga-Molepo area, east of Polokwane.
The Star reported last week that a 19-year-old girl from the same village was raped, allegedly in front of her mother. The rapist is still at large.
Mogodi’s appearance in court on Tuesday was brief and he was not asked to plead.
According to court documents, Mogodi is accused of raping Dikeledi in December 2010.
Mogodi was arrested for the crime, but was released in May 2012 after his rape case was provisionally withdrawn.
Two months later, he allegedly raped the 75-year-old woman.
He remained at large until four months later, when the 72-year-old was raped.
Mogodi was later re-arrested and the court remanded him in custody on Tuesday.
Although ANC Women’s League members had attended one of his previous appearances to support Dikeledi’s family, they were nowhere to be seen yesterday.
In May 2012, Dikeledi was raped for a second time. A 30-year-old man was arrested for the crime.
Dikeledi was raped a third time on a rocky outcrop on her way from school in June 2012, allegedly by 29-year-old Jacob Sefara.
The last two men were said to be cousins, and Dikeledi’s mother had said they were allegedly friends with the first one.
But, in February this year, the rape charge against the second man was withdrawn after DNA test results could not link him to Dikeledi’s rape.
The alleged rape case was reported to the police a few days after it had happened.
The trial of the third man, Sefara, who is out on bail, has been set for July 16 in the same court.
* Not her real name