Bonteheuwel baby rape investigation at ‘sensitive’ stage

Bonteheuwel baby rape investigation at ‘sensitive’ stage

Children, staff and supporters from the Afrika Tikkun Uthando Centre march, 5 June 2019, through the streets of Johannesburg raising awareness for children's rights during Child Protection Week. Picture: Michel Bega

Some people on Twitter suggested the culprit should be given the death penalty, or even tortured.

The mother of an eight-month-old girl who was raped in Bonteheuwel in June may soon get answers as the police finalise their investigation, which has reached a “sensitive” stage, they said on Monday.

DNA samples have been sent for analysis.

The attack on the child left people reeling in shock.

“The investigation is now in its final and sensitive stage and this office cannot elaborate further on this matter,” said police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk.

The baby’s mother is understood to have dropped her off with a carer so that she could go to work.

When she returned home, she noticed something was wrong while changing her nappy.

She took her child to Red Cross Children’s Hospital, where she was initially treated.

The child was later transferred to another hospital for DNA testing.

The baby was discharged early in July.

A case of rape was reported to the police on June 29.

The police did not say whether anybody has been detained, simply stating the case was still being investigated.

Some people on Twitter suggested the culprit should be given the death penalty, or even tortured.

According to a statement by the University of Pretoria (UP), following a conference on child abuse, statistics indicate that one in three girls and one in five boys are sexually abused before the age of 13.

The university stated this was the view of experts from the US and South Africa at a recent colloquium hosted by UP’s Department of Early Childhood Education in collaboration with the Academy on Violence and Abuse (AVA) and Zero Abuse Project National Child Protection Training Centre, both of which hail from the US.

“These experiences can have serious social, medical and economic impacts on an individual and a nation if not addressed,” the experts said.

Research has shown it increases the risk of illness in adult life, psychological disorders such as depression and addiction, as well as cancer and heart disease.

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