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Cape Town - The entire family of Rashied Staggie’s rape victim have been taken into police safety.
In the early hours on Wednesday morning, the woman’s relatives were taken from their Manenberg home and transported to a “safe place” by police.
It is believed they were placed in the police’s witness protection programme along with the 30-year-old victim, whose testimony put former gang leader Staggie behind bars.
But it is not clear if they were reunited with their daughter, who escaped death two months ago.
In July, the mother of five was shot five times, allegedly by gangsters.
She survived the shooting and has since gone into witness protection.
Curious residents told the Daily Voice a convoy of about 40 police cars lined Renoster Road early on Wednesday.
Before 6am, the entire family was whisked away, with the exception of the victim’s 32-year-old brother.
He told the Daily Voice he did not want to go.
“I stayed for my own reasons,” he explains.
Speaking from his mother’s living room filled with bags of clothes, the son says he is glad his family is safe.
“A lot has happened since my sister was shot,” he says.
“Our house was watched (by gangsters), the family received death threats and they (gangsters) were following us. We reported all of this to the police.
“I always knew my family was going away (into witness protection) but none of us knew when,” he says.
The man said although he does not know where they are, he is relieved that his family is safe now.
“I don’t know where they went and I don’t want to know,” he explained.
“I wouldn’t want to go visit them and even if they call me, I won’t ask where they are.
“They (police) came on Tuesday night to fetch their things and the next morning they came to fetch the family.”
He says the family are still haunted by his sister’s rape - more than 10 years ago.
“My sister went through a lot, I’m just glad that she’s safe,” the man says.
“I’m also glad that my mother is safe.”
A neighbour, who did not want to be identified, says with the family gone, other residents can also feel safe.
“We are glad they are all safe but it is also a relief for those of us who live close by,” the man told the Daily Voice.
“It affects us as neighbours as well when gangsters attack their home.”
Police have also remained tight-lipped about the family.
Major-General Jeremy Vearey would not divulge any information about the family’s whereabouts.
“All I can say is that the family is safe,” says Vearey.
Earlier this week, the Daily Voice reported how Vearey broke the news to the family that their child was still alive as they were planning her burial.