File picture: Flickr

Johannesburg - An 8-year-old girl was raped, allegedly by her neighbour, a few kilometres away from her house in Eldorado Park.

The girl was watching television with her family when she asked her mother whether she could go buy sweets.

When she took longer than usual, her mother alerted neighbours to help her search for her daughter.

“She took over 20 minutes. I first sent my 14-year-old son to go look for her. When he couldn’t find her, I sent my second-eldest daughter, and when she couldn’t find her either, I started looking.

“Eventually, we started screaming - that’s when the neighbours came out and helped us search for her,” said Charlie*.

A 43-year-old suspect allegedly lured the girl from the shops and took her to a nearby stretch of veld, where he raped her repeatedly.

Community watch patroller Ziyaad Sallie said when they found the girl in the nearby veld, she was with the alleged perpetrator, who was holding her hand firmly.

Sallie said: “When she saw me, the child jumped on me and asked me take her home. She was too scared to speak in front of him. I had to carry her as she was too weak to walk.”

Melissa*, the little girl’s 22-year-old’s sister, said the alleged rapist was able to lure her sister because he was her dad’s friend.

The girl told her mother that the alleged perpetrator undressed her, made her perform oral sex on him and penetrated her vaginally and anally.

Makhubela said that when the child failed to return home, the mother went to the police station to open a missing person case.

“While there, she received a call that the child had been found. When she got home, her daughter explained what happened to her. She went back to the police station to report a case of rape,” Makhubela said.

He said the man had been charged with rape.

* Not their real names

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The Star