Cape Town – Elsies River residents are calling for the head of a prominent businessman from the area, accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl this past weekend.
The accused appeared at the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on Thursday where the case was postponed to Wednesday for a bail application.
Meanwhile, outside the court, angry residents staged a demonstration calling for the magistrate to deny him bail.
Inspire Network chairperson Carmen Gribi said the community was fuming as the survivor was allegedly taken advantage of by someone she knew and was a close family friend.
“This is a very important businessman in our communities of Elsies River and beyond. At this stage we want him to know that his power, social status, and money are not going to let him get away from what he did to this child.
“What he has done to her is not excusable and is sickening. He might have all the lawyers and people representing him, which the victim’s family doesn’t have the luxury of.
“We have, in support of the family mobilised activists and social workers, community structures, and the community to say we have had enough of molestation and killing of our children, and that it is time we take the stand,” she said.
Gribi said the incident has opened up old wounds from when minors in the area were raped and died at the hands of people close to their families.
In 2017, 3-year-old Courtney Peters was raped and killed by someone she knew while 8-year-old Tazne van Wyk suffered the same fate last year.
“However, we are relieved that she is alive because normally as seen from previous cases these perpetrators kill them because they are known to them. Who are we supposed to trust with our children and around our spaces and homes when such things happen to them?” she said.
Anti gender-based violence activist in the area, Salome Pienaar said the community would petition the court to first deny bail and then impose a harsher sentence on the person found guilty.
“We feel that something needs to be done as this child is not the first victim and not going to be the last. We are asking the justice system to impose harsher sentences on these paedophiles,” she said.