Incensed Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, residents burnt tyres while beating the suspect severely. Picture: Leon Knipe/ANA
A man suspected to have raped a nine-year-old girl in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, was beaten to within an inch of his life by residents on Friday evening.

Mitchells Plain Impact Association (MPIA) chairperson Joanie Fredericks said the attack happened after the victim's grandparent reported the rape last Thursday.

“I was alerted to the rape by the victim’s grandmother. She shared with me that she went to the police station the day before the mob justice incident and got a case number.

“The grandmother told me police wanted to effect the arrest over the weekend and when this news reached the community, they were infuriated, which sparked the attack on the man,” Fredericks explained.

Despite being provided with a case number, police spokesperson FC van Wyk said: “We are still trying to get information regarding this matter and once it is shared with us, we can provide information.”

According to information, the man, believed to be a pensioner, lives three houses away from the victim’s family.

Incensed residents gathered near the family home and burnt tyres while beating the suspect severely.

During the attack, a number of residents, acting as mediators, tried to put a stop to the vigilantism, Fredericks said.

“This community is fed up with rapists and there have been three incidents prior to this where the community also attacked perpetrators accused of raping young girls.

“However, I remain in my stance that justice must be given a chance. I am sick of people using children as a cover to conduct violent crimes.

"At the end of the day, murder is murder and although it is difficult to hand these perpetrators over to police to deal with them, we have a judiciary system that is there to deal with these types of crimes,” she said.

According to residents, the suspect was taken from the scene by police and it is understood he was transported to hospital first.

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Cape Times