The Tafelsig family of an eight-year-old rape victim believes the inefficiency and corruption of a Mitchells Plain police detective has led to the case against the alleged perpetrator being withdrawn. File picture: Candace Chaplin/African News Agency
The Tafelsig family of an eight-year-old rape victim believes the inefficiency and corruption of a Mitchells Plain police detective has led to the case against the alleged perpetrator being withdrawn. File picture: Candace Chaplin/African News Agency

Family of rape victim blames 'inefficient' Mitchells Plain detective after case is withdrawn

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Jun 2, 2021

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Cape Town - The Tafelsig family of an eight-year-old rape victim believes the inefficiency and corruption of a Mitchells Plain police detective has led to the case against the alleged perpetrator being withdrawn.

The family has approached the provincial police Ombudsman for assistance.

The 39-year-old mother of the victim, who cannot be named, said her daughter was six-years-old in December 2019 when she was allegedly “sodomised” by her former stepfather who works as a nurse in a government hospital.

She said a doctor's examination performed at a Thuthuzela centre in Heideveld showed that her daughter had five scars on her anus.

However, the family said they only became aware that the case had been withdrawn after a female friend of the perpetrator, working as a clerk at Cape Town Central police station, had a disagreement with them and revealed that the case had been long been withdrawn.

“The friend made allegations of a bribe paid by the perpetrator to the investigating officer. As a family, we have been in the dark while the investigating officer was doing everything to jeopardise the case; constantly covering up for the perpetrator and hiding crucial information from the family and humiliating me.

“I reported this to the police station authorities and asked for the detective to be changed. I explained that the detective treated me unfairly, was disrespectful towards me and constantly shouted that I was asking too many questions. On the third occasion, I went with two family violence officers, but our concerns were ignored,” she said.

The grandmother of the victim, who also cannot be named, said the family wanted the law to take its course.

“We want the perpetrator to be jailed and the investigative officer to be punished for what he did. They have both caused the family a lot of suffering and pain. The detective is a representation of the law and we cannot allow him to do the same thing to another family,” she said.

Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said a rape case was registered at Mitchells Plain police station for investigation. He said the case was provisionally withdrawn but could not give the reason(s).

Van Wyk did not respond to the allegations made by the family and referred the enquiry to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further response.

However, NPA spokesperson Erick Ntabazalila did not respond to questions.

Western Cape Police Ombudsman spokesperson Deidre Foster confirmed that they received the complaint and are currently investigating the matter.

“Our office will maintain regular contact with our complainant in respect hereof,” said Foster

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said in Quarter three, his Court Watching Brief Unit monitored 139 cases of which 117 police responded to. Fritz said out of the 139 cases the Unit could report on 42 GBV matters which includes the offences of Domestic Violence, Rape, Sexual Assault or Assault GBH.

“The systematic failures which occur most prevalently in these offences were either dockets not brought to court timeously, investigations remaining incomplete, outstanding forensic reports or complainants do not come to court. The department sends the reports to SAPS on a quarterly basis in order for SAPS to take remedial action or, once the investigation has been finalised, the matter is once again placed on the court roll,” he said.

Mitchells Plain anti-GBV activist Lucinda Evans demanded the NPA provide reasons on why the case was withdrawn.

“While we are still shocked and horrified that the NPA has postponed a rape and murder case of alleged child killer Moyhdian Pangarker. It has now failed yet another child. If we have a rapist walking the streets, how many children must the perpetrator rape for justice to take place? Is this child ever going to get justice in her life?” asked Evans.

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Cape Argus

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