A 24-YEAR-OLD man from Northern KwaZulu-Natal was expected to appear in the Manguzi Magistrate’s Court to be charged with the rape of a 103-year-old pensioner, a day after Older Persons Week ended. File picture
Durban - A 24-YEAR-OLD man from Northern KwaZulu-Natal was expected to appear in the Manguzi Magistrate’s Court to be charged with the rape of a 103-year-old pensioner, a day after Older Persons Week ended.

The man is alleged to have broken into the woman’s home early on Monday morning last week, raped her and fled.

The pensioner lives alone and the suspect, who is still in police custody, is known to her and the community.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the suspect was arrested later the same day.

“The man has appeared in court and is due to appear again today (Monday),” Zwane said.

Social Development Department spokesperson Mhlaba Memela said the department was shocked by the incident and would assist the woman.

“We encourage communities to come forward and report if there are elderly people living alone, so the department may intervene by getting social workers to assist by placing that pensioner in an old-age home for their safety,” he said.

“Pensioners must understand that it’s not that we want to remove them from their homes forcefully, but the move is for their own safety. In some instances, the elderly who live alone are reluctant to leave their homes,” Memela said.

He said the department encouraged families of the elderly who lived alone to contact the department any time.

Memela called for the suspect not to be granted bail should he make an application.

Dolo Zondi, 70, an IFP delegate at the annual Senior Citizens Parliament, which took place over two days at the KZN legislature in Pietermaritzburg last week, said among the resolutions taken was for more retirement villages to be developed, especially in rural areas, to keep the elderly safe instead of them living alone.

Zondi said another resolution taken was for courts to stick to their turnaround times in rape matters involving the elderly and minors.

“The turnaround time is 90 days, and this is for the matter to start trial. They must stick to this time,” he said.

Daily News