A senior parliamentarian has stepped in after a Cape Town mother had to make five attempts to report the rape of her three-year-old daughter.
Nonhlanhla Ncube-Ndaba, chair of the portfolio committee on women, youth and persons with disabilities, said she could not understand how the mother had been turned away at Harare and Khayelitsha police stations.
At the weekend, the Sunday Times reported that it took the girl’s mother four days before she found a police officer willing to listen to her.
The alleged perpetrator, a 43-year-old man, was arrested the same day and has appeared in Khayelitsha magistrate’s court.
Ncube-Ndaba said such incidences, as the mother’s struggle to report the crime, would lead to perpetrators going unpunished.
The Nyanga cluster of police stations had its own family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit, she said. “How is it that a victim of sexual offence was turned away?
“Nyanga falls within the top four police stations with highest recording of contact crime. The crime statistics also show that all contact crimes against children have increased, including sexual offences.
“So it cannot be that when a mother with a child comes to a police station to report a case of sexual assault that she is not assisted immediately.”
The portfolio committee’s media officer, Yoliswa Landu, said that in an attempt to ensure the perpetrator faced the full might of the law, Ncube-Ndaba had intervened on behalf of the family.
The Sunday Times reported that it was only after the three-year-old’s elder sister vented her family’s frustration on social media, prompting a public outcry, that the police acted.