It required a desperate plea on social media, along with an intervention from the media, for a Soweto mother to get the attention of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to a case she had made against her four-year-old son’s alleged rapist.
The 27-year-old woman is reeling after her son was allegedly raped during a sleepover at a friend’s house and she was informed by prosecutors at the Protea North Magistrate’s Court that they would be dropping the case because of insufficient evidence against the alleged perpetrator.
This despite medical evidence which proved the rape occurred.
The unemployed mother claimed her case was dropped because the suspect’s girlfriend was related to a police captain, who even escorted the suspect to the police station the day after she reported the matter.
“It was on July 30. I left my son with my friend,” she told The Citizen. “The following day when I went to go fetch him I took him home for a bath and that’s when he told me that he did not sleep at my friend’s house.
“He said he slept at her friend’s boyfriend’s house and he was hurt on his private parts. He showed me where he was hurting on his anus. He also said that he was beaten and kicked.”
She immediately phoned the police and took her son to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto for a J88 medical examination.
The mother claims a doctor there confirmed that there was evidence her child’s anus had been penetrated.
“The doctor started taking DNA samples from my son and gave him medication and the police took my son to have a rape kit (sexual assault forensic exam).”
Things took an unexpected turn the following day after her case was referred to the family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit (FCS).
She said the investigating officer handling her case arrived to take her to the FCS unit, with both the suspect, the suspect’s girlfriend and a police captain, who she claims was known as the girlfriend’s uncle, in tow.
“On the way there they told me it didn’t look like anything had happened to my son and that he seemed to be ‘fine’.”
Shortly after this encounter, a prosecutor at the Protea North Magistrate’s Court told her that the NPA had declined to prosecute because it could not corroborate the four-year-old victim’s story.
NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku had initially declined to comment on the case, but advised the mother to take up the matter with the body’s provincial offices in Pretoria.
“If she is not satisfied with the decision, she must make representation to the office of the director of public prosecutions, and she must speak to Andrew Chauke, who is responsible for prosecutions in South Gauteng. From there, the NPA will decide whether or not they differ with that prosecutor who declined the case,” said Mfaku.
Yesterday, however, after further enquiries by The Citizen, NPA spokesperson Phindi Louwe said the body was looking into the matter but was awaiting the docket from Protea North, after which she would be able to comment.
SAPS spokesperson Vish Naidoo said for an officer to unduly influence a case was a gross dereliction of duty.