Durban – A Margate mother is living in fear and is demanding justice after her 13-year-old daughter was allegedly kidnapped and raped by her former lover, with whom they used to share a home.
The mother, 44, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, said she had been in a relationship with the suspect for more than three years.
The suspect, a 42-year-old man, was arrested in May and the family was shocked to see him roaming free in the community from July this year.
The mother approached the police, who allegedly told her that the daughter had confessed to being in a relationship with the man. The police, allegedly, said they could not prosecute as there was no evidence. The matter was withdrawn in court in July.
When the child was found in May, she had been taken to the hospital by the police, she said.
The mother denied her daughter was in a relationship with the man and said she only found out the man had been released when they bumped into him in the streets of Gcilima, near Margate, where they live.
She said she had been waiting to be called to court at the time.
“I have been stressed since my child was kidnapped, but after this man was released from jail without our knowledge, I am even more stressed now. My daughter and I are depressed and we fear for our lives. He tells people that police released him so he can continue to sexually groom my child. I enquired with the investigating officer about his release but she too appeared surprised and never got back to me,” said the mother.
The 13-year-old went missing in May and was found two weeks later. It was alleged that she was held captive by the man.
“One of our neighbours who is educated and had been supporting us when my child went missing checked with the police and they told him the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said there was not enough evidence to prosecute. They claimed my daughter said she was dating the man but that is utter rubbish,” she said.
The mother said even if her daughter was in a relationship with the man, it was immaterial as he should still be prosecuted for statutory rape and kidnapping, she said.
“This man had made her his sex slave for two weeks, everyday he made her walk long distances as he was running away with her,” she said.
“He goes around boasting that he is out of prison because there’s no case against him. My child often misses school and has to hide in the house because she fears this man might kidnap and rape her again,” she said.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele, spokesperson for the SAPS said the matter was withdrawn in court after police completed their investigation. Mbhele urged the mother to meet with the station commander.
NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara said the matter was provisionally withdrawn as they could not locate the complainant. This claim was also rubbished by the mother, who said the police knew where she lives and they had her contact details.
Said Kara: “This matter was provisionally withdrawn as the whereabouts of the complainant were unknown. Now that this has been established, the NPA will be guiding the police in investigations so that the matter can be reinstated as soon as possible”.
Said the mother: “The police are the ones who brought my child back home, how can they say they don’t know where we live?”