A Tongaat mother who allegedly sold her 13-year-old daughter to a foreigner for groceries and money has been released on bail.
Durban – A TONGAAT mother who allegedly sold her 13-year-old daughter to a foreigner for groceries and money has been released on bail.
This week, the man who paid for the child will apply for bail in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court.
It is believed that in January this year, the 29-year-old foreign national approached the mother and claimed he was in love with the child, a pupil at a local primary school.
It is alleged the mother initially rejected his advances towards the child, but after a period agreed to let him see the child.
She also accepted groceries which he delivered to the family home regularly as well as money.
The mother, 49, has two children, including the girl, and is unemployed. She does not have a relationship with the children’s father.
In March this year, shortly before the country went into lockdown, the mother is alleged to have taken her daughter to the home of the man. They apparently stayed the night.
It is believed that over the next few weeks the man, who is listed as self-employed in court papers, saw the child on several occasions.
It is believed that in September this year, the child fell pregnant. Members of the community intervened by alerting the child’s school.
The girl and her mother were questioned.
According to a source who asked not to be identified: “Her mother was called in a few days later.
“She apparently admitted to knowing about the intimate relations but she said the man intended to marry her daughter.”
The matter was subsequently reported to Tongaat Child Welfare and the police.
Colonel Thembeka Mbele, a provincial police spokesperson, said a case of statutory rape had been opened at Tongaat police station and two suspects, aged between 29 and 49, were arrested on September 30.
“It is alleged that a 13-yearold girl was in a relationship with a 29-year-old man and her mother was aware of the relationship,” said Mbele.
“The matter was reported to the police and the suspects were arrested and charged.”
The matter is now being investigated by Warrant Officer Nevarge Lutchminarain of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit at Phoenix SAPS.
According to the source, the child was removed from the mother’s custody and sent to a place of safety. The pregnancy was also terminated.
Both suspects appeared in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on October 23.
The mother was released on R2 000 bail while the man remained in custody after he requested that he be represented by a private attorney.
The man reappeared before magistrate Rajesh Parshotham on Monday with an attorney from Legal Aid.
When questioned by Parshotham, the man confirmed that he wanted to be represented by the Legal Aid lawyer, Lewhan Reddy.
The matter was adjourned to Wednesday for a formal bail application.
The accused also asked for an interpreter because he struggles to communicate in English.
Jackie Branfield, founder of Bobbi Bear, a human rights organisation committed to helping sexually abused children, said the issue of consent had been a long-standing legal debate and was open to interpretation.
“Our state allows for children as young as 12 to have consensual sex as long as the person is (only) two years older than they are. But the law is very wide when it comes to this.”