Bail petition goes viral

Lieutenant Colonel Harry Brickles, centre, acting station commander for Lentegeur police, stands outside the Mitchells Plain Magistrates Court on Monday August 26, where residents opposed bail for a man accused of raping a one-year-old girl, from Woodlands.

An online petition to oppose bail for a man charged with the rape of a one-year-old went viral on social media.

The petition by Amandla Awethu (https://awethu.amandla.mobi/), which runs campaigns about issues affecting women, is still running, with signatures accumulating by the minute.

A hard copy of the same petition garnered 999 signatures and was handed to the magistrate at Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court on Monday August 26 by Lentegeur Community Police Forum (CPF) when the 57-year-old man accused of raping the Woodlands baby girl appeared.

The alleged rape took place on the afternoon of Thursday August 22. The little girl’s nanny, 28, who stays around the corner from the family, brought her home as usual and left. After returning from work, the toddler’s 28-year-old mother changed her nappy. It was then that she noticed blood and bruises.

The child was taken to hospital for a medical examination where it was confirmed that she had been raped.

Police arrested the uncle of the nanny, who appeared in court on Monday August 26, said Mitchell’s Plain spokesperson, Captain Ian Williams.

Captain Williams said the nanny had been called in for questioning but was not arrested.

The case has been postponed to Monday September 9, as the accused has filed for legal representation, said Captain Williams.

Lentegeur CPF, New Creations Outreach, Cape Flats YMCA, Local Action Group (LAG), Covenant Women Incorporated and community members gathered at the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court on Monday to oppose bail being given to the accused.

Pastor Denwor Olhson, the public relations officer for Lentegeur CPF, said the family do not want to speak to anybody but that their wish is to not see the suspect outside.

“We are not going to tolerate these perpetrators in our community anymore. They are a huge danger to our women and children.”

He said the family want to be left in peace to deal with what happened to their child. The family do not want any members of political parties showing up at their house in clothing with their party’s branded clothing; they should come as individuals if they wish to visit, he added.

“Perpetrators should stop taking out what’s in their pants and think they can do what they want to our women and children. We say enough is enough,” said Mr Ohlson.