A pastor from Moorreesburg faces two charges of rape and indecent assault of a four-year-old girl and will appear in the town’s magistrate’s court today.
The pastor was arrested on Thursday after a second incident allegedly occurred. He was not apprehended after the first incident allegedly took place in May. Residents are fuming about the fact that the suspect was not arrested after the first alleged incident in May.
A police spokesperson confirmed that the 49-year-old would appear in court today.It is alarming to note that the accused is only in police custody after repeating the same offence.
The 23-year-old mother reported the matter after she noticed her child behaving strangely and the hospital confirmed that the child had been penetrated.
Executive director at Ukubavimba Foundation and legal practitioner, Venice Burgins, who had assisted the family of the victim said she will be present in court as a friend of the court. She said she was supporting the family to see that justice is done in this matter and would ask the magistrate not to grant the accused bail. Sexual cases in rural towns are just as rife as in urban areas.
Moorreesburg police station doesnt have a social worker or psychologist. The nearest counselling service is available in Malmesbury.
According to Burgins, after the first alleged incident this year she went to great lengths to help get the matter on the court roll. She added that the police acted only after a completed report on September 8 after the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Unit had concluded its interviews.
Billy Claassen, executive director for the Rural and Farm workers Development Organisation, said that people have been mobilised to attend the court proceedings this morning and will be calling on the magistrate not to grant the pastor bail.
“There’s a nationwide outcry against such crimes committed against women and children. For the accused’s own safety, it’s best that he be kept behind bars for the duration of the trial.”
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