Grandfather held for rape of young girl
On Friday, only weeks before child protection week, a man of 62 charged with raping his 12-year-old granddaughter appeared in the East London bail court.
The man was the fifth person to appear in the metro last week for an alleged rape of a minor.
The man, whose identity is being withheld to protect the child, was arrested last week.
Medical examinations revealed that the girl had been violated repeatedly. While he maintained that he was innocent, the court heard that he had written a letter of apology to his family when information of the rapes surfaced.
State prosecutor Athi Mancoba asked the man what he apologised for if he was pleading innocent. He said: “I just wanted peace in the family.”
He will hear his bail judgment on Tuesday.
Earlier last week, Parkside paedophile Claude Saville was sentenced to two life terms for the rapes of two girls, aged five and six, in 2017, and a Duncan Village mother, 47, charged with the rape of her 11-year-old son, was released on bail.
According to the 2018-19 State of Urban Safety in South Africa report, released by the SA Cities Network on Thursday, Buffalo City Metro ranks worst among South African cities for assault and sexual offences.
While the metro tops the country for the number of sexual offences and assaults, recorded sexual offences decreased by 24% in the last five years and 6% in the last year.
East London-based Masithethe Counselling Services director Jackie Orsmond said when rates of violence and unemployment peaked, children were most susceptible to sexual assault.
She said sexual child abuse included any sexual activity with a child, such as fondling, oral-genital contact, intercourse, exploitation or exposure to child pornography.
“Statements that he or she was sexually abused, inappropriate sexual contact with other children, withdrawal from friends or usual activities, changes in behaviour such as aggression, anger, hostility or changes in school performance, and depression, anxiety or unusual fears, or a sudden loss of self-confidence, are all signs of sexual abuse in children.”
Orsmond said children exposed to sexual violence by their family members were likely to be afraid to speak out against the abuse. “A child who’s being abused may feel guilty, ashamed and confused. He or she may be afraid to tell anyone about the abuse, especially if the abuser is a relative or family member,” she said.
She said children must always be believed when they confided about being sexually abused.
“Having sex with a minor is a crime and must be reported to the police or a social worker. Nurture your child, listen to them, be involved in their lives.”..