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Pretoria - A director at the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs has been placed on leave after allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl on several occasions.
The man was released on bail last month, but the mother of the girl fears he will hurt her daughter again.
The mother fears the alleged rapist will take advantage of the fact that she travels away from home regularly for work purposes.
The woman has written a letter to the deputy minister of police asking for assistance.
After four months of living in constant fear of her abuser, the girl decided to run away from home, in a desperate attempt to get away from the man, whom she had trusted and who had acted as a caregiver towards her and her brother. The man was a close family friend.
Her mother became aware of the horrendous sexual abuse her daughter had endured from the man she had brought into their home, after the girl ran away from home.
The names of the mother, daughter and alleged rapist are known to the Pretoria News, but are being withheld to protect the girl’s identity.
* *Tumi’s ordeal started in April when *Thomas collected her in Polokwane and started fondling her as she slept on the back seat of his Mercedes AMG. Startled by the touch of his cold hands on her private parts, she sprang forward into an upright position. It is alleged he then said to her, “Tumi, my child, can you feel that I touched you so nicely, my child? Who went into your vagina before? I want to teach you. Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you.”
It is alleged he then forced her into the front seat of the car, where he continued fondling her and forced her to place her hands on his penis. According to her mother, *Sarah, her daughter was threatened with being left at the roadside if she did not allow him to fondle her.
Arriving at his house hours later, he allegedly forced the girl into the house, where he raped her. After that, he told her to shower while he took a bath and later cleaned his car, where he had caused her to bleed. Sarah said that Tumi sat in the bathroom and sobbed uncontrollably. It was alleged that Thomas raped the child for a second time before taking her home. Sarah alleged that Thomas said he would kill her if she told anyone anything.
According to the statement, Tumi was raped several times after that, on occasions when Sarah was not present. It is alleged that while Sarah was away on an official trip to Durban, Thomas again raped her daughter at the family house.
“She was fully dressed in school uniform. He pulled up her skirt and pulled down her pantyhose and underwear and bent her. He held her hands behind her back and raped her again, penetrating her from behind in a standing position.” It is alleged that more rapes took place after that.
Last month, the ordeal had become too much for the teenager and she decided to run away from home, to her grandmother in Mahikeng in North West.
After two days, in which there was a frantic search for her and a missing persons report was issued, the girl ended up at a police station, where her mother was notified. It is here that Sarah learnt of the abuse her daughter had suffered. This left her traumatised and suicidal.
A source at the Department of Water Affairs said Thomas had been contacted by police and said he would hand himself over.
He has appeared in court on a charge of statutory rape and has been released on bail.
Department spokesman Themba Khumalo confirmed the case and said the director had been placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa has expressed concern at the “serious charges” the official is facing.
“As the matter is before court, the department will be guided by the outcome of the legal process. The accused has taken annual leave following his court appearance,” Khumalo said.
* Not their real names