Blikkiesdorp: Raped toddler ‘will never have children’

3 04 2009

AEC Note: Yet another example of why the residents of Symphony Way refused to move to the Blikkiesdorp government-built slum.

3 April 2009, 11:02
By Ziyanda Sidumo and Fouzia van der Fort
Source: Cape Times

The 16-month-old baby who was assaulted and raped in Delft this week will never be able to have children, her distraught father has told the Cape Argus.

The child faces extensive reconstructive surgery after the assault at the so-called Blikkiesdorp informal settlement on Tuesday.
The area has been in the headlines for months after people evicted from government houses they occupied illegally in the area set up home on the pavement in Symphony Way, refusing to move.

A 25-year-old man was arrested and appeared in court on Thursday.

The baby was allegedly raped while her mother left her in the care of a male friend while doing her washing outside her home.

The baby’s father said the mother had let the child with her male friend.

“She said she asked this man to feed the baby because she was still busy with the washing and they went to his house just three houses from hers.”

The child was returned to the mother crying and her T-shirt was soaked with blood.

The mother then took her to hospital, accompanied by the male friend.

“Her mother freaked out because the child’s eyes were red and swollen and my little girl’s face was blue,” said the father.

He had been at work when he was told of the rape.

“I dropped everything so I could be with her and her mom.”

He said he had had to be treated for shock.

“I told myself I have to be strong because my daughter needs me now more than ever.”

The father said he was very upset when he saw her with stitches in her tongue and was told that she would never be able to bear children.

“I hope and pray that justice will be firm.”

The man’s sister, Samantha Petersen, described the child as playful and she had started to walk and talk on her own.

“She is a lovely baby and I hope she will recover soon.”

Red Cross Children’s Hospital spokesperson Temba Gubula said the child was in a stable condition.

“The child is recovering very well from when she was admitted,” said Gubula.

The Delft man accused of raping the child drew hissed curses from the child’s father, family and friends when he made his first appearance in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

In the course of the brief proceedings, the little girl’s father, aunt and friends sat in the public benches just behind the dock, regarding the accused man with expressions of anger and anguish.

When the man told the court he had decided to represent himself, forgoing the opportunity to appoint an attorney or seek free representation from a Legal Aid attorney, magistrate Clive van Linden told him: “That is a bad decision.

If you are found guilty on this charge you could be sent to jail for life.”

A bail application has been set for April 24.

The State is opposing bail.

Speaking outside the court later, the toddler’s father said he was “very heartsore”.

* This article was originally published on page 5 of The Cape Argus on April 03, 2009

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