Spike in sexual crimes in ’Plain

Mitchell’s Plain police station has revealed that there has been a spike in sexual assaults and attempted sexual offences over the past year.

This as residents, organisations and family attended the first court appearance of the 49-year-old man arrested in connection with the rape of a five-year-old girl last week.

The man, dressed in a blue pants and maroon top, appeared in a packed courtroom 4 at the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court, on Wednesday August 23.

He is being held in custody at the Strandfontein police station cells and will return to court today, Wednesday August 30.
According to the man, who is known to the family, he was assaulted, and reported injuries to his eye, ribs and arm.
He was arrested after the child identified him as the perpetrator, on Sunday August 20.
Mitchell’s Plain police station spokesperson Captain Ian Williams said a passer-by discovered the girl being raped by a man in bushes near Kapteinsklip station in Rocklands.

He said the suspect ran away, but was later arrested by police.

Captain Williams said police had seen an increase in the number of attempted sexual offences and sexual assaults.
“However, this could also be due to more reporting, which is encouraged. There are programmes in place to assist the victims.

And it is found that many times the suspect is known to the child.”

However, he noted, there had been a 4.9% drop in the number of reported rapes.

Mitchell’s Plain Crisis Forum chairperson Joanie Fredericks there had been a number of child abuse cases over the past few months.

Speaking about the court proceedings, Ms Fredericks said: “He raped a five-year-old and he gets to move to a nice police cell because he was assaulted. What about her rights? He forced himself on her and now she has to live with it for the rest of her life.

“We are sick and tired of what’s happening in Mitchell’s Plain, our children are becoming victims more frequently. So, as residents and organisations, we need to stand up and take action.”

Spokesperson for the girl’s family, Melanie Pietersen, said the family was devastated by the incident.
“The mother and grandmother are now at home, and the girl is recovering. She is still traumatised. We are obviously furious about what happened, especially when it was done by someone who was known by the family, a neighbour. All we want now is justice,” she said.

Keep kids safe

● Warn children about the dangers of social media and sharing their personal information on these platforms.

● Be open and honest with your children about the dangers. There is no right age with regards to the safety of our children, as perpetrators is most of the time people they know.

● Encourage children to have courage to tell their parents anything, with no limits, even small stuff – to make it easier to share the big stuff.

● Parents must be aware of where, what, with whom, and how their children keep themselves busy.

● Implement secret codes or words that kids can use when someone threatens or makes them feel uncomfortable in their presence, to warn parents when they don’t want to speak immediately or in front of people.

● Children should not have passwords on electronic or smart devices – or parents must have the passwords at all times.

● Parents should join and interact with their children at play.