'Her death has cut deep into our hearts,' says family of six-year-old rape victim

18 October 2019 - 12:03 By Peter Ramothwala
The man accused of raping 6-year-old Boitumelo Matsekoleng is led away by police after appearing in court on Thursday. His identity cannot be revealed because he is facing a rape charge.
The man accused of raping 6-year-old Boitumelo Matsekoleng is led away by police after appearing in court on Thursday. His identity cannot be revealed because he is facing a rape charge.
Image: PETER RAMOTHWALA

“We had accepted that she was raped and she would subsequently recover to live with the gruesome experience for the rest of her life ... but her death has cut deep into our hearts."

These were the heartbreaking words from the family of six-year-old girl Boitumelo Matsekoleng, who was raped last week and died from her injuries at the Polokwane Provincial Hospital this week.

SowetanLIVE reported that Boitumelo, a grade R pupil at Baithuti Mohlahledi primary school in Serageng village near Jane Furse, Limpopo, was injured during an attack in the bush at 2am last week. She had been receiving treatment in the intensive care unit since her admission.

Her aunt, Kgolane Maleka, said the family was expecting her to pull through.

Maleka, who sat next to Boitumelo's mother Refilwe Matsekoleng, 32, said on Thursday: “Her death has deeply saddened us. We didn't expect it, as we had hoped she would recuperate and live with those indelible scars.

“We pray to God to guide us and let her innocent soul rest in eternal peace."

Maleka said the justice system should send the alleged rapist to jail with no option for parole.

“He must rot in jail because if he returns we are going to deal with him. A little child suffered in his hands and he left her for dead. Who does that?"

Refilwe was too distraught to speak to journalists.

Family members gathered outside a four-roomed house preparing for Boitumelo's burial.

Her uncle, Ntapane Matsekoleng, 50, said the doctor told them that she died from head injuries.

“We are still waiting for postmortem results on the cause of death. However, on Monday the doctor said Boitumelo had brain injuries and bled internally," he said.

Boitumelo will be buried on Sunday.

Education MEC Polly Boshielo expressed shock and devastation at Boitumelo's death.

“We would like to convey our deepest condolences to the family and the entire school community during this difficult time," said Boshielo.

“It is sad to lose a young life, a grade R learner, who had just started with her formal education with a potential of becoming anything she wanted to be in life."

There was drama at the Nebo magistrate's court on Thursday, where the alleged rapist appeared briefly.

The matter was postponed to December 3 for further investigation.


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