Children’s Case: Five family members in court
01 July 2016
Photo and article: Susan Cilliers (Beeld).
Five adults from one family once again appeared in the Magistrate’s Court in Zeerust, North West, on Friday because they allegedly molested all three children in the family and neglected them badly.
The children’s parents and grandmother are accused of a large number of misdemeanors connected to the alleged sexual abuse and rape of the two elder children, as well as serious neglect of all three the children. The two elder children were allegedly forced to commit sexual deeds with them.
The children’s cousin (19) is up for trial on three accounts because he allegedly raped the elder girl and assaulted her sexually.
All five pleaded not guilty on all the charges and were released on bail last year.
When the children were removed from their family’s care in May 2014, the oldest, a girl, was seven years old. Her little brother was four and little sister two. In the bail hearing it was testified that the two-year-old was badly undernourished and that her cleft palate had never been repaired, although her parents belonged to a medical fund. The little girl also suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome. She had extensive tooth decay, ‘had nerve involvement and abscesses’, was testified earlier on. It has been treated under anasthetic and her top four teeth had to be extracted. Her cleft palate was repaired in July 2014. At present she is flourishing.
The court also heard that the children were clothed scantily, even in cold weather and without shoes. A neighbour who reported the circumstances to the police said that the children were never supervised, that they were always dirty and neglected and went into other people’s homes in search of food. Allegedly, serious alcohol abuse was the order of the day and the children’s mother was under the influence on a daily basis.
The elder girl told a social worker that her mother, father and uncle drank a lot and that her mother gave her vodka to drink. She related how all the accused allegedly raped her and assaulted her sexually. The little boy also related how his mother, father, uncle and grandmother raped and sexually assaulted him and warned that it be kept a secret.
The children’s mother and uncle are also accused of allegedly committing incest before the eyes of the two eldest children.
All the children are now in foster care. The case has been postponed to 5 August with a view to determine a pretrial date.