Community seeks justice after 'rape' of toddler in Gauteng
Mother 'is suicidal and blames herself' for alleged incident
Scores of residents from Reiger Park in Boksburg arrived at court on Monday to demand justice after the alleged rape of a toddler in the suburb by a man known to her family.
They expected the 34-year-old suspect to appear in the Boksburg magistrate's court, but unknown to them the matter had been postponed.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said: "The matter was not placed on the roll, pending further investigations.”
Community leader Leah Lance said residents were livid about the alleged rape and wanted the harshest possible sentence to be handed down by the court.
“The community is angry. This is why men and women came out in numbers to show support and demand justice for the mother and her child," she said.
Lance said the toddler's family was distraught.
“The mother is not well. She has been crying throughout. She is suicidal and blaming herself for what happened.
Police spokesperson Capt Mavela Masondo said a case of rape was opened last week but the suspect, who is known to the mother, was found only at the weekend.
“The complainant [mother of the child] came to the police on Wednesday after she had asked [the suspect] to take the child to her childminder [on Tuesday] as she was going to work. When she returned to pick up the child, she was told the child was never bought in,” said Masondo.
The mother arrived at home and was told by the suspect that the child was sick. The child was taken to a doctor on Wednesday, who confirmed she had been raped, said Masondo.
Lance said the community would attend future court proceedings.
"We cannot turn a blind eye to gender-based violence. Too many of these incidents have taken place. We will be in court until justice is served," said Lance.