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Bo-Kaap brothers maintain their silence amid sexual assault claims

Members of the Bo-Kaap community staged a demonstration in support of survivors and victims of gender-based violence and sexual assault. Picture: Shakirah Thebus/Cape Argus

Members of the Bo-Kaap community staged a demonstration in support of survivors and victims of gender-based violence and sexual assault. Picture: Shakirah Thebus/Cape Argus

Published Nov 3, 2020

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Cape Town – Two brothers accused of sexually abusing young girls years ago are still refusing to respond to the allegations.

This as a young family member has released a second video in which she laments the silence of her Bo-Kaap community for the abuse.

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In a the video, made public on Sunday, a survivor of alleged sexual assault by her paternal grandfather from the age of 5 until she was 11, spoke openly about what had transpired since her first video was circulated last week.

The woman, currently living in Jordan, thanked those who had conveyed their support online, who by doing this ultimately provided a safe space for her and other survivors.

“When your abusers are well respected it makes it so much harder because you don’t feel like there is a safe space to speak about it.

“You don’t feel like you can really truly be honest about what has happened to you in fear that you are going to be called an attention seeker, a drama queen, saying that you have a vivid imagination,” she said in the video.

The brothers, both now 85, and former educators and principals, were accused of sexual assault spanning more than five decades.

Questions have been raised online as to whether or not some family and community members were aware of the alleged assault years earlier.

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“Last year, my brother went to an Imam in Bo-Kaap, made him aware of what was happening and asked what had been done. He is not the only Imam who knows about this exact situation, who knew about these perpetrators and my situation specifically, and nothing was ever done.

“Unless an Imam is qualified to handle the situation, it is not appropriate to ask an Imam what to do because more often than not you’re told to just forgive and forget, move on and that’s it. There is no counselling,” she said.

The brothers again refused to comment on the allegations.

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Cape Argus

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