An 18-year-old man suspected of raping his eight-year-old cousin is expected appear in the Potchefstroom Magistrate’s Court in North West on Thursday.

The man was arrested last Saturday after allegedly raping his minor cousin at their grandmother’s house in Ikageng Location outside Potchefstroom.

Police say the minor and the suspect were watching movies on a laptop when the incident occurred on Friday evening.

It is alleged that the minor’s older sister called her after the incident.

The sister became suspicious when she saw the 8-year-old’s trouser zipper down.

Upon questioning, the minor told her older sister that she had been raped.

The victim was taken to the Doctor for examination.

Further investigations revealed that it was not the first time the suspect raped the young girl.

Last month, a 6-year-old girl Sinakhokonke Madiya was raped and strangled to death at Ezingolweni, on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.

It is alleged the grade one learner had been playing at a neighbour’s house, when she was brought home unconscious. The neighbours claimed she had swallowed a safety pin.

In the video below, Sonke Gender Justice’s Bafana Khumalo requests organisations dealing with GBV to co-ordinate activities:

More than 87 000 GBV complaints received 

Gender-based activists have raised concerns that lockdown can have a huge impact on domestic violence and gender-based violence.

Police Minister Bheki Cele says police have received more than 87 000 complaints during the first week of the 21-day national lockdown last week.

Cele was speaking at a press conference in Pretoria, where the National Coronavirus Command Council was giving feedback after the government published amended regulations to the state of disaster.

He says one of the 87 000 cases, includes a case of rape, where a police officer was arrested for allegedly raping his wife.

The Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says she is concerned about the increasing incidences of violence against women and children amid the lockdown period.

This comes after a KwaZulu-Natal granny was raped and murdered, allegedly by men posing as soldiers who said they were going around sanitising homes.

In the video below, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane speaks about GBV during lockdown:

Prevention of GBV

Around the world, as cities are under strict lockdown, women and children who live with domestic violence have to be more cautious.

Gender-based activists have raised concerns that lockdown can have a huge impact on domestic violence and gender-based violence.

According to reports, an estimated 3.3 million people and 10 million children are exposed to adult domestic violence each year.

In the video below, the Chairperson of the Black Women Caucus, Keitumetse Fatimata Moutloatse speaks about GBV during lockdown:

UN’s call to governments

The United Nations Secretary General has called on governments everywhere to make prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19.

In a statement, Antonio Guterres says while lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing the virus, the restrictions could also trap women with abusive partners.

“Over the past weeks as economic and social pressures and fear have grown, we have seen a horrifying global surge in domestic violence. In some countries, the number of women calling support services has doubled. Meanwhile, healthcare providers and police are overwhelmed and understaffed. Local support groups are paralysed or short of funds. Some domestic violence shelters are closed; others are full. I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19.”

INFOGRAPHIC: Facts on gender-based violence: