A 49-year-old man accused of raping a 4-year-old girl at a block of flats in Milnerton appeared briefly in court last week.
According to Milnerton police spokesperson Captain Nopaya Madyibi, the accused was remanded in custody and the case was postponed for further investigation.
Captain Madyibi said the man had allegedly been caught in the act at a block of flats in Ixia Street.
“The occupants of the flat who witnessed the incident couldn’t take it. They apprehended the suspect and brought him to Milnerton police station. A case of rape was registered for investigation, and the child was taken for medical examination,” she said.
Jacqui Pember, the vice chairwoman of the Milnerton Community Police Forum, said the child was from Joe Slovo, but it was not clear whether the man had abducted her from her home or had found her in a nearby park in Ixia Street.
“The perpetrator is a Joe Slovo resident. As of Friday last week, the little girl was still at the Red Cross hospital being treated for the trauma she has endured. We are quite thankful that bail was opposed as he will remain in custody until the next court appearance,” she said.
Ms Pember urged the City of Cape Town to turn unused fields in Joe Slovo Park and Phoenix into play parks where children could play safely.
The park on Democracy Way, in Phoenix, is now an empty field attracting vagrancy and illegal dumping following repeated acts of vandalism and theft (“Park destroyed by vandalism,” Tabletalk, November 11, 2020).
Ms Pember said parents should take more responsibility for their children as it was not uncommon to see groups of small children roaming Milnerton on their own.
“It is clearly not safe for them to be unsupervised. Children also need to be taught the basics of ‘stranger danger’ and not be lured by the offer of sweets or money, which is apparently quite common practice, according to local feedback,” she said.
In October last year, a 61-year-old Joe Slovo man was arrested for raping three girls all under the age of nine (“Protesters vow to stop bail for child rape accused,” October 25, 2023).
Thembi Godla, a Joe Slovo resident, said rapists should face much harsher punishments.
“This kind of crime is unacceptable towards anyone, and it is especially disgusting when it happens to children. Children are so defenceless, and the fact that grown-ups can take advantage of them in this way is truly evil. People always talk about the death penalty not being a solution, but for cases like this, where it is clear the person did it, we need to reconsider how we punish these criminals. Clearly the fear of jail doesn’t faze them. We need something harsher,” she said.