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Kimberley - A Northern Cape teenager appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on charges of raping a nine-year-old boy.
Gopolang Riet, 19, was denied bail and will remain in police custody until his next appearance in April.
The State, on Friday, alleged that Riet raped the boy several times in the ABC Cemetery and at Ottoskopje Mine in Galeshewe earlier in February.
Angry residents protested outside the court on Friday to demonstrate their anger and to demand that the accused be denied bail.
Chanting and waving placards saying “a child’s mind has been damaged” and “we don’t want child molesters in our area”.
The boy’s mother said on Friday that her son was going to a nearby shop around 3pm on the day of the incident, only to find that it was closed.
She said Riet was allegedly sitting near the tuckshop and offered to accompany him to another shop that was not too far away.
The mother said the nine-year-old boy knew Riet and trusted him because they lived in the same street and he (Riet) worked as a gardener at their home.
The two walked towards the ABC Cemetery, which was a short-cut to the shop.
It is believed that Riet pushed the boy against a tree at the cemetery and asked for oral sex. When the boy refused, Riet allegedly took off the boy’s belt and hit him several times.
Fearing for his life, the boy obliged and afterwards vomited.
It is also believed that Riet then inserted a stone in the child’s anus to force it open.
He allegedly then raped the boy at the tree and because the child was crying so badly, he then moved him to a tombstone where he allegedly raped him again.
It is alleged that he also dragged the child to the Ottoskopje Mine where he raped him again and then left him to find his way home.
According to the mother, the boy traced his steps home.
The devastated mother said on Friday outside the court that her child’s life had been ruined.
“My little boy has been traumatised. He is afraid all the time and has nightmares.”
She added that her son was receiving therapy to help him cope, but his concentration levels had dropped dramatically.
“His behaviour has changed. He is not playful any more. He is withdrawn and only wants to play inside the house, behind locked doors,” she added.
She said it was the first time she had heard of a young boy being raped. “I never thought that something like this would happen to him.” She urged parents to be careful who they trusted their children with. “It is not only young girls who are being raped, but boys too.” Another member of the community, Dikeledi Pilane, said people in the area were more cautious following the incident.
“We are worried about who might be next.”
She called on the court not to grant the accused bail because residents were afraid of how this would affect the victim.
“We, as members of the community, are very angry. We don’t want people living amongst us who are a danger to our children and old people.”
A 74-year-old resident, Elizabeth Mpitsang, also said it was the first time in her life that she heard about same-sex rape. “All rape must be condemned but we are shocked that such a thing could have happened in our own community to people we know and by someone we trusted. All we ask is that justice be served.”
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