Family livid after Potch police officer granted bail for raping minor

The family of a 14-year-old girl are livid that her alleged rapist, a police warrant officer, was granted bail in the Ventersdorp Magistrates’ court last Monday.

The accused (48) was released on R3 000 bail and will appear in court again on 21 November.

The officer is based in Potchefstroom. The IPID (Independent Police Investigating Directorate) arrested him for allegedly raping the Gr. 7 learner from Tshing Township on 15 October. The incident took place during the unrest in Ventersdorp after the police had been called in to bring stability to the small farming community.

The girl was walking with three friends when two police officers allegedly picked them up in a Nyala (an armoured police vehicle). The Ipid spokesperson, Moses Dlamini told The Citizen that two police officers had ‘promised the girls food and drinks. When they got to town, they told two of the girls to get out and left with the other two. They took one of the girls to a guest house and raped her there,’ Dlamini said.

According to the victim’s aunt, the family never expected the suspect to be released.

‘Some days, my niece wakes up okay but other times, she is depressed and doesn’t talk to anyone. She doesn’t sleep properly at night and trembles in her sleep.’

She is giving the teen all the support she can as she prepares for her final exams, however difficult it is in these circumstances. ‘I encourage her to talk to me because we are close. Her mother is not coping at all and harbours feelings of anger at what has happened to her daughter,’ she said.

Capt. Aafje Botma, the NW police spokesperson says Ipid arrested the officer on that Wednesday.

Khuduga Dibe from the Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) expressed his shock. ‘We are very disappointed and have lost confidence in the way the Ventersdorp magistrate interprets and understands the laws that govern the country. We are angry that the magistrate released a 48-year-old warrant officer, accused of raping a 14-year-old girl, on bail. F4SD will ensure that justice is served. We believe it was wrong for him to have sex with the teen without her consent. We will stop at nothing to assist the poor people of this country,’ he said.

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