‘The justice system failed us’: Cape Town mom after State refuses to prosecute dad for allegedly raping 3-yr-old daughter

Three years after a then three-year-old girl was rape, allegedly at the hands of her father, her mother is still appealing for justice. File Picture Brenton Geach

A Cape Town mother is at her wit’s end and believes the police and justice system have miserably failed her daughter, who was raped allegedly by her father three years ago.

The accused has yet to give a statement to the police or be arrested.

The victim, who was three at the time of the incident, has not changed her story since.

Speaking to IOL, the Mitchells Plain mother said back in August 2019, her daughter complained that her vagina and bum were hurting.

The mother took the child to the doctor, who confirmed her daughter had been penetrated vaginally and anally.

After the incident, the young child acted out the sexual acts performed on her by her father, scaring the mother.

“It has been three years, and she is still telling the same story. She started school this year.

“He (the accused) has not given a statement, arrested. To me, how many other cases are not being seen to?

“Children can speak. She can speak. I am running around doing this case on my own,” the mother explained.

The mother said she even obtained a report from a social worker and took this evidence to the Mitchells Plain Family Violence, Child Abuse and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit, which was supposed to investigate the matter. Nothing happened.

“Police told me they will reopen the case, my daughter needs to see a forensic social worker, but nothing happened.

“There is no input from the police, nothing. Why are they talking about 10 days of activism for violence against women and children when this matter has not seen any movement,” she said

The case has since been withdrawn, and the single mother said she received no explanation on what grounds this happened.

The mother said this incident had taken an extreme toll on her life.

“I am a single mother. I work full time and have to see to my own health.

“But I can promise you I am never going to give up on seeking justice for my daughter. Valentine’s Day came, and it all came back to me, seeing the blood in her pants. I want my daughter to have a real life. I want the person who did this to her to pay. I am suffering,” she said.

The mother fears that more children could have been a victim of the accused and is beating herself up that the incident occurred in her home.

In followed up with police as to why the matter had not been investigated and questioned whether crimes against children were, in fact, a priority.

In its response, provincial police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said: “kindly be advised that crimes against women and children are a top priority for the police in the Western Cape.

“The matter you are referring to has been investigated by Mitchells Plain FCS unit.

“The case docket was handed to the senior public prosecutor for a decision, upon which the matter was withdrawn.

“For any further enquiries pertaining to this matter, we advise that you refer your enquiry to the spokesperson of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)”.

According to the provincial spokesperson for the NPA, Eric Ntabazalila, the child could not account for what happened at the time due to her age.

“The child was three years and some months old and was not able to give the social worker an account of what occurred.

“The social worker indicated that the child cannot be used as a witness, hence no trial. The child is continuing to receive counselling,” he said.

However, the child’s mother has hit back, saying this is a lie.

“My child received counselling once or twice from them. She is a child, and needs time and to build a relationship before she would speak. They should know this. I got her private counselling after her story was in the media.

“Since the incident, she has retold her story over and over at the most random times, and it has always remained the same,” she concluded

All this mother wants is justice to be done for her daughter and move on.

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