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Limpopo police see three child-rape cases in less than a week

Date: 30 May 2024 By: Andries van Zyl

A  43-year-old man was expected to appear in court after being arrested for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl at Makhitha village in the Tshilwavhusiku area .

According to provincial police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba, the suspect was arrested by the Makhado Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS). Ledwaba said that, according to information they had received, the victim was at school writing exams on Monday, 27 May, when she disclosed the disturbing news that she had been raped to one of her teachers. The teacher notified the school principal, and the mother was also notified.

“A preliminary investigation revealed that on Saturday, 25 May, at about 09:00, the victim was at home when the suspect called her to his house and ordered her to follow him inside the house. She followed him through the house to the bedroom, where he undressed her and raped her. It is also alleged that the suspect had reportedly raped the victim in June 2023 and promised to pay her money,” said Ledwaba. 

The incident was reported to the police, and a case of rape was opened. The case was then transferred to the FCS Unit for further investigations. The suspect was arrested on Tuesday, 28 May.

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, Lt-Gen Thembi Hadebe, hailed the arrest and praised the investigating officer for ensuring that the suspect was apprehended. He will appear in the Tshilwavhusiku Magistrate's Court on Thursday, 30 May, on charges of rape.

This incident was one of several child-rape cases reported to the Limpopo Police the past week. The SAPS in Gilead within the Waterberg District are investigating a case of rape involving a six year-old girl who was reportedly raped by a 16-year-old male suspect, believed to be her uncle, on Saturday 18 May 2024 at about 19:00 in Taueatsoala village.

According to police reports, on Monday, 27 May, at about 15:00, the aunt of the victim noticed that her niece was not well and asked what had happened to her. The six year-old girl then allegedly informed her aunt that she was raped by her uncle while at home. The aunt of the victim telephonically called her mother to inform her about the incident and the child was rushed to the local hospital for medical treatment. Upon arrival, the medical personnel at the facility confirmed that the child had indeed been raped. The suspect will be arrested in due course and a probation officer is expected to be involved as the suspect is a minor.

In the meantime, the police in Tubatse within the Sekhukhune District have intensified their manhunt for a known male suspect who had allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl on Saturday, 25 May, in Madiseng village at about 19:00.  

Police in Lulekani have also launched a manhunt for a suspect involved in the alleged sexual assault of an eight-year-old child, also on Saturday night, 25 May 2024, in Kurhula village. According to preliminary investigations, the child was asleep when an unknown suspect entered her room and tried to undress her. The intruder had earlier cut off the electric cable before forcefully entering the house. The suspect tried to rape the child but failed and instead sexually assaulted her before fleeing from the scene.

On a more positive note, a 40-year-old child rapist, Kgaogelo Lekgau, was sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a 12-year-old girl at Makurung. He was sentenced by the Thabomoopo Regional Court on Friday, 24 December.

The court noted that on Sunday, 20 December 2020, at about 20:20, a 12-year-old victim was going home from a mall, and the mother requested Lekgau to travel with the victim as it was late. Along the way to Makurung, the accused threatened the victim and dragged her into the bushes, where he raped her. Lekgau was already found guilty of the rape on Tuesday, 14 November 2023, and has been behind bars since then until his sentencing.

 

 
 
 

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Andries van Zyl

Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.

 
 

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