Colville community members welcome court’s decision
THE COMMUNITY of Colville has welcomed the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court decision to deny bail to a 29-year-old man who is accused of raping and impregnating his 13-year-old stepdaughter.
The accused, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the child, allegedly started raping the girl when she was just six years old.
Community members pointed out that the man is accused of a “disgusting” crime and that they feared for their children’s safety if he was released on bail.
During the accused’s bail application, the investigating officer, Sergeant Moses Morris, testified that the young victim is more than 20 weeks pregnant and that she cannot terminate the pregnancy as it is already at an advanced stage.
Morris added that they still need to conduct a DNA test to establish paternity.
Community members had earlier called on the justice system to protect the vulnerable.
“In matters such as this, bail should just be scrapped. It should not even be an option. This man lives in the same community as the child and the chances of her seeing him roaming the streets are inevitable because we are such a small community. That would add to the trauma the child is facing,” said one community member.
“She is currently already faced with tremendous trauma because she is now pregnant at such a young age. Her peers may not understand the circumstances surrounding how she got pregnant. She is left with emotional scars for her entire life. The courts cannot also add to the stress she is currently going through. The justice system needs to protect victims of such heinous crimes.”
Others meanwhile urged community members to speak out and stand up against the abuse of children.
“It is heartbreaking that this child suffered such abuse for so many years. Her life has been a horror. Communities need to protect the vulnerable in their midst and bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice. They must report such incidents as soon as possible and not turn a blind eye.
“This could have happened to anyone’s child. We must root out the predators in our communities and in our homes.”
The matter was postponed and the accused will remain in custody.