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GIRL (11) RAPE: COMMUNITY POLICE (72) ASSAULTED

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MANZINI - Police have launched an investigation after the community police member who allegedly raped a minor girl was assaulted.

The attack is believed to have been fuelled by the fact that the accused was granted bail after appearing in court. This is the elderly community police member (72) who allegedly raped an 11-year-old girl of Mgungundlovu, KuGucuka on the outskirts of Siphofaneni. The minor then died after alleged complications on December 27, 2021. It was said the child’s mother reported the matter to the police, who arrested the elderly man and he was later released on bail by the court.

Attacked

According to an impeccable source, about three family members from the minor’s family went to the elderly man’s homestead and allegedly attacked him with fists and various weapons, all over his body. This was said to have happened after the child’s death. The source said the accused was beaten in a revenge attack such that he could not walk properly. Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati said after the matter was reported to the police, the community police member was out on bail. “What happened is that the family of the victim went to attack the accused. Currently, they have a case of assault and they are wanted in connection to it,” the police spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) Director Nonhlanhla Dlamini said as much as it was the right of an accused perpetrator to be released on bail, it was saddening because the survivor was exposed to danger, as such as there could be threats and possibly, the survivors be killed.

Painful

“To us as an organisation, it is truly painful. We don’t own the justice system and we use the available laws, but this is another setback because it is beyond our control,” the director said. Nonetheless, Dlamini said the organisation could help support the survivors’ family emotionally and through the court process. She said they needed to understand that it was part of the healing process because to a person whose child was violated, they were devastated when they saw the alleged perpetrator outside jail.

She noted that getting out of jail did not mean that the accused was crime-free. However, she said their responsibility was to ensure that the cases were followed through because some people were released on bail and they were allegedly never recalled to account for their crimes. Dlamini said this was a thorny issue to the organisation. She expressed her hope to get contacts of the affected family to ensure that their case was seen to the end.

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