Community leaders fear teen’s alleged gang rape could spark vigilante justice
Cape Town - Frustrated Bloekombos residents are calling on their local police precinct to update the community on progress about a gang rape case that was reported to them last week.
Community leaders from Kraaifontein said they fear residents would soon form a vigilante group to mete out justice to a group of five men accused of raping a teenage girl.
The victim, a 16-year-old from the Marikana informal settlement in Kraaifontein, told her family of the incident shortly after returning home from visiting a friend's house where she was apparently given copious amounts of alcohol and raped by five men known to her.
According to the group of leaders, they approached their local police station on two separate occasions to try and get information on the progression of the case.
Linda Phito said: “This case is a sensitive and very serious case. We need to see the police taking action promptly and not dragging the matter. Why are the perpetrators not arrested? They're further traumatising the girl and her family by walking freely in our community after the horrible crime they committed. We need justice, not promises.”
Phito said since the incident, the teen had not received any counselling or support from the police and that residents from the community were disturbed by the police's lack of urgency to attend to her or the alleged crime scene.
“As leaders, we don't want residents to take matters into their own hands, but that's what will happen if people continue to see nothing being done in this case. A girl was raped by five men from the same community, and during a time when tensions are high because of violence against women and children. The police need to act fast.
“As for the community of Kraaifontein, we're calling on residents to stand together and help fight against the GBV epidemic. We know it's not easy but together we can achieve more than individually. Our men need to stand together with the women in their lives and protect them against the scourge that is GBV,” said Phito.
The police could not be reached for comment.