Two of the three accused Platfontein teenagers. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Kimberley - In a shocking revelation on Monday, the autopsy performed on the eight-year-old girl from Platfontein, whose body was discovered last week after she had been missing for seven days, has indicated that the Grade 2 pupil was raped before her death.
While three teenagers from Platfontein on Monday appeared in the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court after allegedly gang-raping a 12-year-old girl, attempting to rape a 10-year-old boy and assaulting (with the intent to do grievous bodily harm) a 12-year-old boy, it has emerged that eight-year-old Melissa Kanguya, who went missing from Platfontein on the same day on which the alleged incidents occurred, was raped before her death.

Police spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Dimakatso Mooi, on Monday confirmed that a post-mortem performed on Melissa following the discovery of her body a week after she went missing on August 16, has revealed that she was raped.

Mooi indicated that a rape charge would be opened but added that DNA samples collected from Melissa still had to be analysed before any arrests could be made.

“A post-mortem has revealed that Kanguya’s death was as a result of exposure to the elements and police are still investigating an inquest case while we await the DNA investigation,” Mooi said.

The three teenagers were arrested shortly after the alleged incidents on August 16 in Platfontein, the !Xun and Khwe community situated just outside Kimberley, for which they are now facing charges.

The alleged incidents occurred at the same time that Melissa was last seen alive.

According to information relayed by the young victims, Melissa was last seen fleeing from one of the three accused in an attempt to escape being raped.

Melissa was not seen again until the discovery of her half-naked body in a veld outside Kimberley a week later.

The three teen accused, aged 14, 15 and 16, yesterday appeared in the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court, where the case was transferred back to the Children’s Justice Court in Kimberley, where they are expected to appear later this week.

According to the charge sheet, it is alleged that the three teens gang-raped a 12-year-old girl by “acting with common purpose and common intent, unlawfully and intentionally committed an act of sexual penetration with the complainant (the 12-year-old girl) by inserting their penises in her anus one after the other, thereby having sexual intercourse with her without her consent”.

The second charge relates to attempted rape where it is alleged that the accused “unlawfully and intentionally attempted to commit a sexual offence with the complainant” (believed to be a 10-year-old boy).

The three also stand accused of assault GBH, where it is alleged that “on August 16, 2018, the accused unlawfully and intentionally applied force to the person of a minor child (another 12-year-old child) by giving him certain wounds/injuries with the intent to do grievous bodily harm”.

As the victim was under the age of 16 at the time of the alleged assault, provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act provide that if the evidence on a charge of assault GBH does not prove the offence of assault GBH, the accused may be found guilty of common assault, if so proved.

Meanwhile, the #RiseAbafazi Movement, which started a charity drive for Melissa’s family, on Monday thanked all contributors for “opening their hearts to the Kanguya family”.

“We are extremely overwhelmed by the response that we have been receiving. The Kanguya Charity Drive is still ongoing. On behalf of the Kanguya family, we appreciate everyone’s support in this trying time,” #RiseAbafazi spokesperson, Mpho Assegaai, said on Monday.

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