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Durban - Residents of a Mayville informal settlement attempted to storm the Sydenham police station last night in a bid to get their hands on a man who allegedly kidnapped and raped a two-year-old girl.
The residents accused police of shoddy work after they failed to find the child.
Residents found the child sleeping in bushes along Waterfall Road, in Mayville.
The 20-year-old suspect allegedly kidnapped the child from the Lacey Road Informal Settlement on Tuesday afternoon.
Disgruntled resident, Sphiwe Ngcamu, said the community went in search of the suspect after someone had seen him leaving the settlement with the child.
He said they questioned passers-by and received information about the suspect. They alerted police to his whereabouts and he was arrested. Ngcamu said they were angry with police for not asking the suspect to point out where he had left the child.
He said they had received information that the man went into the bushes with the child but was seen leaving alone.
“We had to find the child. She was still in the bushes. At first we were scared to go near her because we thought she was dead.”
He said they saw her chest moving and realised she was alive. She had only her T-shirt on,
Ngcamu said the man was not a resident of the settlement.
Police closed the gates to the station after about 50 of the residents tried to get to the suspect. The residents dispersed peacefully after half an hour.
The suspect faces charges of kidnapping. A charge of sexual assault could be added once hospital tests were finalised, a police source said.
According to crime statistics released this month between April last year and March this year, there were 88 reported cases of sexual crimes in Sydenham, 12 405 in KZN and 65 387 nationwide.