POLICE have urged residents to join hands in ensuring that children are protected and always safe from acts of abuse, including rape. The warning follows an incident in which an elderly man was arrested for raping a 11-year-old girl at Motetema township outside Groblersdal at the weekend.
“The minor girl was sent to a spaza shop by her mother and on her way she was accosted by a 61-year-old man who raped her about 6pm. The child told her mother about her ordeal at the hands of the senior citizen and police were alerted. The suspect was positively identified and arrested,” police spokesperson Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe said.
The elderly man will face a charge of rape in the Motetema Magistrate’s Court soon, police said. In another incident four children aged between four and 14 narrowly escaped death last weekend when their father, 40, locked them inside a house with him and set the house on fire.
“The children managed to escape from the burning house through the windows. “Their father was burnt to death inside the house,” Ngoepe said. The man started by beating his wife until she was rescued by concerned residents during an apparent domestic dispute.
“He then forced their children inside the house and locked the doors before setting the house on fire, but the children escaped. “His car, which was parked in a garage, also caught fire,” the police spokesperson said.
“As the police we condemn this type of action against children, especially when perpetrated by an adult person who is supposed to be a protector of children. “Every member of the community must consider any child as his or hers and must participate in child care initiatives. “Child safety is a societal responsibility,” the police said.