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Cape Town - Medical staff at Red Cross Children’s Hospital have said they are happy with the progress of the nine-year-old girl who was raped and set alight in Delft two weeks ago.

“She was moved from the Intensive Care Unit on Monday and continues to receive the necessary treatment,” said EMS spokeswoman Angelique Jordaan.

Late in January, the child was found lying on a pile of rocks between bushes along the R300 freeway. She told family members she recognised the face of the man who raped her and that he had laughed when he set fire to her, saying “you won’t be able to tell anyone it was me”, the child’s aunt said.

The 27-year-old man accused of raping, burning and assaulting the girl abandoned his bail application when he appeared at the Bellville Magistrate’s Court at the end of last month. The man, who may not be identified as he has not yet pleaded to the charges, is being held in an isolated cell in Goodwood Prison for his own safety until his next court appearance on March 27.

Two days after the girl was raped, the police issued a statement saying they would be investigating child neglect on the part of the people responsible for the child. “We will not hesitate to charge those responsible for not providing proper safety for the child and who allowed her to leave her house at such a late hour,” police spokesman Andrè Traut said.

On Tuesday, Traut said the case had been referred to the director of public prosecutions pending a decision regarding prosecution. - Staff Writer