Poor support for bail protest

Very few people came to support the march organised by Cape Lives Matter on Friday August 21. From left are, Gladys Michelle Beukes, Renita Paulsen, Camorin du Plessis and Zelda Ferguson.

Less than 10 people attended a march and protest organised by Cape Lives Matter for a Tafelsig teen who was raped by her grandmother’s ex-boyfriend.

The protest demonstration was held on Friday August 21 at the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court to oppose bail for the accused.

The girl, 13, was raped in October 2019, when she was 12 years old and fell pregnant. The girl gave birth to her child last month via Caesarean section.

Captain Ian Williams, spokesperson for Mitchell’s Plain SAPS, said they can confirm a case of rape was reported to Mitchell’s Plain SAPS after a girl, 13, was allegedly raped by her grandmother’s ex-boyfriend.

The man, 61, appeared in court on Friday August 21 and was released on bail. The Plainsman could not confirm the bail amount. The case was postponed to Friday October 2.

The girl’s mother passed away in 2014 and the grandmother, 58, took in her late daughter’s two daughters, 9, and 13.

“I was in a relationship with him for eight years. I trusted him,” the grandmother told the Plainsman. “I am a working mother, I was rarely home. He has no remorse towards me and my family. I don’t think it’s fair. I just want justice,” she said.

Christine Campher, an Eastridge Neighbourhood Watch member, said the girl looked up to the accused as her own grandfather but she got hurt in the process. Justice must take its course, she said.

Camorin du Plessis, chairperson of Cape Lives Matter, who tried to rally people to support the family was disappointed by the number of people who came to support the victim and her family.

“It pains me to know the perpetrator is allowed out on bail. The details of this case are very disheartening and shocking to our community. This happened to a young person. We cannot only react once the person is deceased – acting while the victim is with us is very important,” said Mr Du Plessis.

Lynn Phillips, activist and secretary of the Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum (CPF), who took part in the protest, said all crimes against humanity and in particular those against women and children, should be severely opposed. She said the community must speak out on such crimes and if they know of any perpetrator who is violating bail conditions, they need to do an affidavit and submit it to the investigating officer in order for the court to act on it.

“We must speak out against this. This cannot continue,” said Ms Phillips.