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

Rape accused teen rescued from angry mob

By Athandile Siyo Time of article published May 17, 2021

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Cape Town – A teenage Somalian shop operator had to be saved by the police from an angry mob after he allegedly raped a 6-year-old girl in Kanana informal settlement.

Police said members of the Public Order were called to Gugulethu to diffuse a violent clash after community members looted a local Spaza Shop at about 5.30pm on Thursday.

Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said: “It is alleged that a 16-year-old foreign national male raped a 6-year-old girl in a local spaza shop.

“When it became known to the community, they vented their feelings and started looting the shop. Police members rushed to the scene and intervened.

’’The suspect was arrested and detained at Gugulethu SAPS. Once charged he will make a court appearance in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court. Gugulethu (police are) investigating a charge of rape.”

A resident who asked to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation said that she heard a commotion and hurried to see what was happening.

“The residents were angry that this happened and wanted to take the law into their own hands. Others were busy looting the shop while others were calling for him to be castrated.

“We are disappointed that this happened right under our noses. At the moment it is not clear how (he) lured the young girl into the shop.

“The family is distraught, we also don't want him back here.”

Women and child advocacy group Ilitha Labantu condemned the incident. Spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali said this incident further highlighted a state of moral degradation, with children allegedly committing sexual offences against other children.

“It would appear that Gugulethu is leading in cases of gender-based violence in the Western Cape because in the past month there have been a number of rape and femicide cases that have come from the community.

’’As an organisation we are deeply concerned by the spike in incidents of rape and femicide and call on all stakeholders to work together to help curb this scourge.

’’The rights and dignity of all women and girls should be protected and we hope our justice system plays its part in bringing to book all suspects of gender- based violence,” he said.

Community policing forum chairperson Thembinkosi Mjuza said that this was not an isolated incident as it also related to other crimes like child trafficking and drug dealing.

“It is extremely sad that this happened and more sad that it was (allegedly) committed by another child. The rule of law must take its course and we want justice to be served.”

Cape Times

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