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CAPE TOWN

Former MK cadre arrested for alleged rape of 13-year-old child

Former MK cadre arrested for alleged rape of 13-year-old child
Tens of thousands protest outside Parliament against gender-based violence in September 2019. Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma)

The alleged rape has sent shockwaves through ANC circles. The party in the Western Cape has called for a harsh sentence to be imposed if the suspect is found guilty.

A former MK cadre who in December 1989 was part of a team that bombed the Mitchells Plain police station has been arrested on charges of allegedly raping a child.

The 54-year-old Cape Town sub-council manager appeared in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court on Monday 22 June on a charge of rape. He was arrested on Friday 19 June after the girl spoke out about the repeated rapes which allegedly took place over three years.

The name of the suspect cannot be published at this stage to protect the identity of the girl. He was not asked to plead and will apply for bail on 29 June.

The alleged rape has sent shockwaves through ANC circles. The party in the Western Cape has called for a harsh sentence to be imposed if the suspect is found guilty.

The ANC’s provincial co-ordinator, Ronalda Nalumango, said the party was “shocked” that “a former combatant has been arrested and appeared in court in connection with horrific allegations of raping a 13-year-old girl”.

“The accused has not been formally part of the ANC in Mitchells Plain since 2013. We are numbed by the allegations and charges. Every day our country is sent reeling by gruesome acts of gender-based violence [GBV],” she said.

She said the alleged crime was “a betrayal of the ethos, values and principles of the ANC. We want a swift, but fair trial and the harshest penalty if the accused is found guilty because we want the court to show perpetrators that we expect our law to be tough on them”.

Nalumango said victims “can expect the protection of the law, as well as the ANC’s full support against perpetrators of GBV”.

Reagen Allen, MPL and DA Western Cape community safety spokesperson, said he “fully” supported President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to end GBV.

“The rape allegations against a community member from Strandfontein should be thoroughly investigated. As a country, we are facing enormous challenges as it is, and I call on men in the Western Cape to take a stand against GBV,” he said. DM/MC

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