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Western Cape High Court orders probe into abuse of girl, 6

The Western Cape High Court has ordered an urgent investigation into the care and contact of the 6-year-old.

The Western Cape High Court has ordered an urgent investigation into the care and contact of the 6-year-old.

Published May 23, 2022

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Cape Town- Following allegations by a minor girl of sexual abuse perpetrated by her father, the Western Cape High Court has ordered an urgent investigation into the care and contact of the 6-year-old.

According to court documents, the girl’s parents are currently going through a divorce while the girl lives with her maternal grandmother.

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The investigation was launched after the mother said her daughter told her in September, 2018 that her father had been “touching and hurting her”, and now sought from the court to appoint expert forensic psychologist, Dr Leigh Pettigrew to conduct a care and contact assessment.

The father has denied the allegations and also launched an urgent conditional application for the appointment of Dr Matilda Smit to conduct the same assessment.

Court documents read: “The child informed (the mother) that (her father) hurt her head and vagina. On November 9, 2018 the minor child reported to her in the presence of the grandmother that she did not want to return home as the father would hurt her vagina. On December 1, 2018 the maternal grandmother caught the minor child attempting to take photos of her private parts with a cellphone.

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“On January 14, 2019 the mother enquired from the minor child as to who was hurting her vagina and after much persistence, the child informed her that her father puts his fingers into her vagina and thereafter attempts to imitate the movement. In light of the serious allegations made by the child, she then attended at Brackenfell police station on numerous occasions and deposed to numerous affidavits highlighting what the minor child informed her relating to the father.

“She implored the court to appoint Dr Leigh Pettigrew to conduct a care and contact assessment in respect of the minor child, and more specifically to investigate the allegations of sexual abuse levelled against the father by the minor child. In light of these allegations against the father, the mother applied that he be afforded supervised access to the child,” court documents read.

The father said “there is absolutely no truth in any of the allegations of sexual or other abuse of their daughter”, and said this was an ill-conceived attempt by the mother to abuse court processes.

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According to court documents, the same allegations were made against the father in 2019 and following an investigation through the Children’s Court, the investigating officer could not find any evidence to support the allegations.

“The minor child was further subjected to a medico-legal examination and it too reported no evidence of sexual assault on the minor child. The respondent further contends that the minor child was further subjected to a forensic assessment by Captain McKinnon, a specialist social worker in the employee of the SAPS and she also could not find any evidence or support of the alleged sexual abuse,” court documents read.

Judge James Lekhuleni said: “Our common law also prescribes that the child’s best interests must determine the outcome when a court has to make an order regarding a child. In other words, in all matters concerning the care, protection, maintenance and well-being of a child, the standard that the child’s best interests are of paramount importance, must be applied.”

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Cape Times

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