A bus driver was accused of raping the then 15-year-old after he had picked her up from school.
Cape Town – Six years after their disabled daughter was raped by her school’s bus driver, a Gugulethu family had to hold on just a bit longer to have court proceedings finalised as sentencing in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court was postponed on Wednesday.
If all goes as expected, Gerald Hendricks will be sentenced on Thursday.
The case dates back to August 2016 when Hendricks, now 54 years old, was accused of raping the then 15-year-old after he had picked her up from school. He was arrested on the same
The court found him guilty in December last year, and he was expected to be sentenced yesterday.
The girl’s mother said she could not wait for her family’s misery to end. The case, she said, had been haunting her daughter.
“I’m not well because it has been going on since 2016; I need closure,” she said, adding that she had not told her daughter about the sentencing because it would upset her.
“My daughter becomes anxious when we speak about this at home, it’s a setback.”
Members of Ilitha Labantu, an organisation that works to end violence against women and children in disadvantaged communities, picketed outside court yesterday, chanting that Hendricks, who
they said was also a pastor, should rot in jail.
Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali said the organisation wanted justice to be served for vulnerable women and children.
“This case is more sensitive because the child is disabled,” he said.
“It took place in 2016, yet years later, it’s still ongoing.”