Rape victim, 7, returns to live with struggling mother after suffering abuse while in her father’s care
Local community services teamed up to support a seven-year-old girl in the Bonkolo basin who was allegedly raped by her 47-year-old father, who she lived with in Sterkstroom.
Police spokesperson Namhla Mdleleni said the suspect was in custody on a rape charge.
The South African Police Service (Saps), the Community Policing Forum (CPF) and Queenstown Uncedo Taxi Service Association contributed groceries and clothing to the victim’s family, who were struggling to meet ends meet.
Their visit follows after the girl, who had been staying with her father and grandmother in Sterkstroom for three years, was recently reunited with her mother in the Bonkolo basin.
The police also assisted the rape victim and her four-year-old brother to acquire Sassa cards to enable them to get social grants.
The victim’s Sassa card had been kept by a loan shark to whom her mother owed money.
In tears, the victim’s mother said: “I did not expect any of this to happen. I am truly grateful for what the police have done for me. Before the police came to assist, my life was a difficult financial battle for survival.
“I am unemployed with four children, I have been depending on my partner, who is a farm worker, to support my children and I.” Two of her children currently live with a relative.
However, she was still not at peace with what happened to her daughter who doctors confirmed would not be able to bear children in future.
“What happened to my daughter grieves me. I never thought her father would do this to her. He used to take her to school.”
She found out about her child’s sexual abuse ordeal when she went to visit her in Sterkstroom.
“A woman who lived nearby informed me that something was wrong with my daughter as she often wet herself while playing with other children. After observing the problem, I took her to the clinic where she was referred to the hospital.”
To her surprise the police came to the hospital and advised her to take her child to a doctor in Komani.
“The doctor told me my child had been raped repeatedly and would not bear children.
My daughter told social workers her father had raped her and that she had told her grandmother about it. I have been asking her father to give the child back to me, but he refused.”
Colonel Loyisa Ngalo condemned gender-based violence, urging men to unite against GBV and to influence others to join them.
“ Ever since the lockdown was implemented, GBV had spiraled in this country. Everywhere women are complaining about men,” said Ngalo.