Lotus River residents chase away alleged child rapist
Bishop Paul Phillips, chairperson of the South African Religious Forum (Sarf) in the Western Cape, said he personally took the suspect back to Mandela Park, Hout Bay, where he is originally from.
“I acted as a mediator on behalf of the forum. Part of our mandate is to act as peacekeepers and to mediate in volatile situations. The police were present and the individual was taken back to his own community. He is not from the area and is not a resident from Lotus River. People were waiting outside to assault him,” said Phillips.
Approximately 100 residents marched to the temporary home of the accused, located at Oribi Avenue, Lotus River. The march was organised by the Oribi Avenue Street Committee (OASC), and facilitated by the Sarf.
Phillips said one of concerns raised was the safety of the children, especially now that schools were closed.
“Lotus River is not a safe haven for any suspect or accused person with those sorts of accusations against him. We wanted to say ‘you can’t hide from your community and come hide in ours and put our working mothers under such emotional stress’.”
“The only thing we know about the accused is that his case is at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court. He is out on bail on charges of rape and molestation and there is a protection order out against him,” said Phillips.
“The main reason for him coming to Lotus River is because the Hout Bay community don’t want him there. The mothers were very emotional, very upset with him being in our midst. To have someone accused of such serious crimes, it is a great concern,” said Phillips.
Franco Rudolph, OASC secretary, said: “I am a concerned parent. We have to keep everyone safe as the police have failed us multiple times.”
The Grassy Park police station could not be reached for a comment before publication.@TheCapeArgus