Three family members made an appearance in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Monday for allegedly raping their 7-year-old relative. The men are facing a schedule six offence and are expected to return to the dock next week Monday.

During their brief appearance, the three men applied for Legal Aid and indicated that they will apply for bail during their next appearance. The trio, aged between 29 and 60, allegedly sexually abused the seven-year-old girl for about six months on a farm just outside Kimberley.

Northern Cape NPA spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane says they will be opposing any bail for the suspects.

“Considering the seriousness of this offence and looking at the age of the victim; a seven-year-old being victimised like this, it’s obvious the NPA will be opposing bail. The message that we have for our communities is that this is not a governmental issue, it is a societal one whereby all sectors both government and private should come together and fight this gender-based violence,” says Senokoatsane.

Over the past four months, media have been reporting on rape cases involving disabled women, elderly women and children that have rocked the province. The eldest rape survivor is aged 78 and the youngest is four.

Northern Cape African National Congress (ANC) Chaplain Pastor Dez Fransman says recent reports of violence against women and children have shown that urgent action is needed to protect them.

“The President himself said we have another pandemic in the country and that pandemic is gender-based violence and if that is a pandemic dear president, then maybe we need to declare a state of disaster on that as well and treat it with the urgency that we need to treat it with,” says Fransman.

Meanwhile, also in Kimberley, a 41-year-old man made a brief appearance in the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court for allegedly raping his stepdaughter over the weekend. His case was postponed to Thursday.

The video below contains a report on the 41-year-old’s court appearance: