File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Mfuleni mom fears police could mishandle minor’s rape case

By Okuhle Hlati Time of article published May 7, 2021

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Cape Town – A distressed Mfuleni mother has been left worried over whether her minor daughter will get swift justice, after alleging that a police officer asked her if her child’s father “looked like the type of guy who would rape his own child”.

The mother, whose identity is being withheld to protect the child, told the Cape Times that she noticed blood stains on her daughter's underwear after she returned from visiting her father. The child had been with him for about a week.

“My housemate called informing me that she was left with my child. At the time I was at a salon but the beautician allowed me to go and fetch my daughter.

“While at the salon I noticed blood stains on her panty because of the way she was sitting. This got me worried.

’’When we got home she ran to the bathroom and I followed her. She struggled to sit down and when she stood up from the toilet seat after urinating I saw blood drops.”

The mother said at first the child refused to speak and was crying but after begging and promising not to shout at her she eventually told her about being raped.

“I got someone who transported us to the Thuthuzela Care Centre at Karl Bremer Hospital. A number of tests were conducted and a J88 was done by a doctor who asked my daughter what happened. Her story did not change, it was exactly what she told me.

“Police were called while we were at the hospital and around midnight an investigating officer from Kuils River arrived. At the time my daughter was asleep. So I told him the story.

’’But the first thing he asked was if I think her father looks like the type of guy who would do that to his own child.

“This was uncalled for and very insensitive, especially coming from a police officer. My child knows her father and her story has been consistent.

’’Why would I send my child for a visit to someone who looks like they can rape or is ’that type’. I’m worried if this case will be treated with the sensitivity it deserves or be thoroughly investigated, because so far I am not happy,” she said.

Police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said the case was under investigation by a detective from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit.

“Due to the nature of the crime and the age of the victim, a specialist in dealing with children has to be brought on board to assist the investigation.

“It is worth mentioning that SAPS is committed to ensuring that a strong case is presented before court. It is on this basis that pertinent details about what happened to the child are best left to a court of law.”

Traut urged the mother to report the comments made by the investigating officer to the police management.

Child lobby group Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali said “The sad reality is that the majority of child rape offenders are known to the victim - it is either a relative, friend or someone known to the family.”

Cape Times

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