Police slammed for dragging their feet in defilement case
The grandparents of a 15-year-old girl who was allegedly raped and impregnated by her stepfather have slammed the police for taking too long to complete investigations.
In an exclusive interview with The Voice from their home in Seleka, the grandparents, who now stay with the seven-month pregnant teen, are livid that the accused is left to roam freely in the village while his victim has dropped out of school.
“She now stays indoors, hiding in shame, even though she has done nothing wrong!” said the irate grandfather, his voice trembling with fierce emotion as he adds that police have been aware of the case for over a month but have done nothing.
According to the visibly upset elder, his daughter married the accused in 2014.
“My granddaughter was just nine years old at the time. That man basically raised her together with her elder sister, who’s now 23,” he revealed, angrily adding that the nightmare could have been avoided if the authorities had acted in time.
Speaking in slow, hushed tones, the old man claimed that before the abuse of the child started last December, the accused had attempted to seduce the victim’s then 22-year-old sister.
“She fled and reported the matter to the Social Workers. Sadly no further action was taken,” revealed the concerned grandfather.
The village elder admitted him and his wife had always been suspicious of their son-in-law but did not confront him out of respect for their daughter.
“Now we know. That monster has been abusing my granddaughter and he’s roaming freely while the child’s future has been ruined. I can’t event send her to a tuckshop because chances are she might run into that devil!” he fired.
Taking over the narrative, the shy diminutive Form One student claimed her stepfather started raping her towards the end of last year.
“He called me to his room when my mother was away and ordered me to undress and lie on my back,” she narrated, staring determinedly at the ground as she speaks.
The young girl, who had just completed her Primary School, vividly detailed how the man she had called daddy for over a decade forced himself into her and then threatened to kill her should she tell her mother.
“He raped me several times in December when my mother was away. I never told my mother because he said he’d kill me,” she said, absentmindedly cradling her small bump.
The matter came to light when her cousin confronted her about her protruding tummy. She came clean and implicated her stepfather.
“We were taken for counselling in Sefhare and then Social Workers said I shouldn’t live with him and I was brought to stay here last month [June]. I like staying with my grandparents. I feel safe here,” ended the youngster, displaying the shadow of a smile for the only time in the interview.
Meanwhile, Seleka Chief Kelapile Maleele said he has only heard rumours about the matter but was never given the full details by the police.
“I remember the police brought the man here and his wife and the trio including the said girl were taken for counselling. I was never given the full details,” he reiterated.
Martinsdrift Police Station Commander Zibani Basupi told The Voice that the man has been charged with defilement but is yet to appear in court as investigations are ongoing.
“We only know about the abuse and can’t have any conclusive answers as to the pregnancy,” he said.
Zibani further told The Voice the girl’s mother at the moment faces no criminal charges as there is nothing linking her to the alleged crime.