Community members are planning a silent protest at the Barkly West Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday when a suspect accused of raping an 11-year-old girl is expected to appear.
COMMUNITY members are planning a silent protest at the Barkly West Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday when a suspect accused of raping an 11-year-old girl is expected to appear.
It is believed that the suspect, who is apparently a foreign national, was arrested on Sunday, four days after the alleged rape of the girl.
The incident is alleged to have happened on Wednesday last week at the suspect’s place of business in the Barkly West CBD.
According to the community, a case was opened on Thursday last week following the incident but the girl’s family did not receive a case number until Tuesday this week.
The victim was apparently with two friends, who were instructed to stay in another room, while the suspect allegedly raped her at knifepoint.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Dimakatso Mooi confirmed that a charge of rape was being investigated.
“The docket has been taken to the senior State prosecutor for a decision,” added Mooi.
The police could, however, not confirm the arrest or indicate when the suspect would appear in court.
Community members indicated that they would oppose bail and put pressure on the justice system to ensure that a harsh sentence is handed down.
According to the community, the police failed to take the case seriously when it was initially reported and the victim could not bath for several days as she was waiting to be examined.
“The victim has been severely traumatised by the ordeal and the treatment received by the police when the case was initially reported,” said a family friend.
He added that the child was accompanied to the police station by a caregiver, due to her parents’ “compromised education level”.
The community has also called on the police to take statements from the two young witnesses, who were with the victim at the time of the alleged incident.