Cape Town - Members of the Delft community, outside Cape Town, who helped police arrest the suspected rapist of a nine-year-old girl should be applauded, Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato said on Monday.
The girl survived the incident after her attacker set her alight in bushes along the R300 highway.
She was found alive by family members on Sunday.
A 27-year-old man was arrested on rape and attempted murder charges.
“I am deeply saddened and at the same time furious that another one of our young girls has been brutally raped. However, it is welcoming news to hear that our SA Police Service has already made an arrest,” Plato said.
Members of the neighbourhood watch made a citizen's arrest and were forced to keep the suspect locked away from angry Delft residents who were demanding mob justice.
“This situation could easily have turned into one of vigilante violence and I applaud those members of the community who kept calm in a volatile situation and ensured that justice can take its course,” Plato said.
“By working with the SAPS, our communities can go a long way towards increasing the safety of their neighbourhoods and surrounding areas.”
Plato said he would be monitoring the progress of the case.