Eastern Cape – A 19-year-old suspect remanded in custody

A 19-year-old male suspect who was arrested and appeared at Flagstaff Magistrates Court on 10 November 2020 has been remanded in custody and will appear again on 12 November 2020.

The suspect was charged for assault of a 15-year-old minor following his arrest on 10 November 2020 after Qhasa Police responded to allegations of the assault of the minor.

It is alleged that the victim was assaulted by suspect, who is her ex-boyfriend on 27 October 2020. The victim was admitted at a local hospital and after she was discharged she opened a case on 09 November 2020 accompanied by her mother.

When police interviewed the victim they realized that there is more to this isolated assault incident. The victim was visibly shaken and feared for their lives as the suspect’s family had threatened to kill her if she opened a case against their son.

Further probing on the matter revealed allegations that the suspect has been forcing some girls of that village to have a sex with him. As a result, another minor is pregnant and allegations indicate that the father of the child is the suspect. Another girl, aged 15, also came forward as one of the victim of the suspect. Police are following up on the two incidents of statutory rape.

A meeting has been organized with the District FCS (Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses) members, local traditional authority and the community to create awareness about sexual offences like statutory rape as well as ‘ukuthwala’ or forced marriage and Gender Based Violence.

Acting Eastern Provincial Commissioner, Major General Thembisile Patekile commended Qhasa police for their intervention. “We cannot have our young girls living in fear and without access to justice. Police will ensure that the matter is probed further and will ensure that every young girl who has been violated by this suspect in that area comes forward to open a case and the investigation into this will be consolidated. Detectives must ensure that the suspect is denied bail as that will assist with more young girls coming forward,” he added.

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