Children welfare groups across KwaZulu-Natal have rallied to express outrage over the rape of a 12-year-old girl which took place in the toilets of Nquthu Magistrate’s Court.
The assault is alleged to have taken place on Sunday 6 March, when the girl accompanied her mother to meet the master of the court to settle her father’s estate.
A police officer told Scrolla.Africa that the matter was immediately attended to by the manager of the court after the girl came out of the toilet crying.
“She told her mother and the manager of the court that there was a man who followed her to the toilets who then raped her,” a police source said.
The National Prosecuting Authority could not confirm to Scrolla.Africa whether anyone had been arrested in connection with the crime.
The shocking crime highlights the growing danger of sexual assualt faced by children in public institutions.
Fundiswa Xaba of the Fundi Foundation against Women and Children said the horrific incident is greatly concerning as the girl was made the victim of a heinous crime in the very place the law is supposed to be handed out.
“This incident is shocking and the worst part is that our kids are no longer safe in the places where we thought safety was a priority. We call on our government to pay more attention to this because it is really scary,” said Xaba.
Felicia Molefe of KZN Childline said that the sexual assault of children occurs regularly in public places.
She said that although the organisation was not aware of this specific incident, there have been a high number of reports of sexual assaults taking place within public institutions.
“We will follow-up on this incident and check all the details but our children are being raped in police stations, hospitals and now magistrate’s courts. It is getting out of control and we so wish parents and government could do more to protect children whether they are girls or boys because they all become rape victims,” said Molefe.