Police in Limpopo have launched a manhunt for a man who allegedly broke into a house of an elderly woman and raped her.
Police preliminary investigations revealed the victim was a 101-old-year granny, who lived alone at Mogaeng village near Lenyenye outside Tzaneen.
Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the incident happened in the early hours of Sunday morning. He said the woman was sleeping alone when the suspect broke the door of the house and raped her, before disappearing.
“We were later notified about the alleged incident and immediately rushed to the scene,” said Mojapelo. “We are investigating a case of rape.”
The incident has sparked debate among villagers and politicians in the area, with many people questioning why a woman of over 100 could live alone. The general feeling among residents was the fact the woman lived alone showed that her family, community members and leaders had neglected her.
“I think the victim has children, grandchildren, close family relatives, councillors and community development workers,” said one resident. “What is their job if they can’t take care of elderly people? I think it is stupid to harbour a mentality that says one loses dignity or value once he or she reaches old age.”
ANC branch leader in Tzaneen Masilo Maloko said it was a shame there was still such people in the community who would rape a defenceless old woman.
“These types of incidents are not only a shame to the family of the suspect, but leave an irreparable scar that will live with us for a long time,” said Maloko. “It is high time that we work together with the police to ensure that we expose whoever is responsible. But if we do nothing, then we have only ourselves to blame because incidents such as these may continue.”
Limpopo police provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Nneke Ledwaba condemned the incident and called on members of the community to look after elderly people.
He said it was important for senior citizens to be taken care of at all times, especially women who were usually targeted by criminals.
Yesterday, MEC for social development Nkakareng Rakgoale, who was equally perturbed and shaken by the alleged incident, dispatched a team of social workers to the woman’s home to counsel her.
Rakgoale said elderly women should not be terrorised or harmed, but must instead be respected, honoured, preserved and be used as reference for wisdom.