DURBAN - The KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza was left shocked after a local television news broadcast reported that police had failed to arrest a proportional representative councillor accused of statutory rape in the province.
The Department of Social Development (DSD) said the MEC had expressed her shock and disappointment that the councillor was still living a normal life.
The DSD said that according to the broadcast by 1KZN TV, the councillor at Ntshawini village in KwaDukuza Local Municipality on the North Coast, impregnated a 14-year-old girl and promised to pay a dowry to the family and build them a house.
The DSD said the broadcast sent shockwaves throughout the public as the councillor seemed unfazed by the councillor’s act of sleeping with a minor.
It is alleged that after the councillor slept with the child, he would offer her money raging from R100 and above. It is alleged that the girl would always be called by the perpetrator to his bedroom each time she visited his children to play with.
In his comment, he could be heard stating that the girl was known by everyone in the community that she was a “loose” child.
Reacting to the incident, Khoza said: “In a province with a high rate of gender-based violence and child abuse like ours, we cannot allow such incidents to take place. This man’s response to journalists shows that he saw nothing wrong in his actions. It is disgusting that when the alleged perpetrator was questioned about his absurd acts, he further used derogatory words and discrimination against the victim.”
She said communities should never treat sexual abuse as normal.
“These are serious criminal offences. No sober person can justify acts of sexual abuse, worse of a minor. It is very disappointing that to this man who agreed on his own to have been sleeping with a child is still free; he should be in prison.”
Khoza also said there was no monetary value that could be attached to such a vile act and the DSD would ensure that anyone involved in sexual crimes would be arrested and prosecuted.
She said the immoral behaviour of men sexual abusing, raping women and children should be stopped.
“It is hurtful to see abusers/rapists take advantage of victims' family plights, promising them money and continue to rape their victims. Grooming a child as a sex slave can never be tolerated,” Khoza said.
She called on law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned to deal with this case.
The MEC has sent a team of social workers to meet with the family to offer counselling and assist the child with her needs.
“To us, the family is also not clean on this matter because they should have reported it to the police and social workers on time. Our interest now is to see the law taking its course on this case,” Khoza said.