Call for scholar transport drivers to be screened after 12-year-old raped
A 12-year-old girl from Amanzimtoti, south of Durban, was raped and impregnated, allegedly by the driver of her scholar transport vehicle, who is still walking free three months later.
The incident has prompted the department of social development in KwaZulu-Natal to call for the screening of all scholar transport drivers.
According to the department, the girl told her family that she had been repeatedly raped by “uMalume” - a term commonly used for scholar transport drivers - who also impregnated her.
“The girl told family members that ‘uMalume’ took her to his home and raped her on more than one occasion,” the department said on Sunday.
The girl has since given birth to a baby girl and is receiving trauma counselling.
KZN SAPS spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbele said the Umlazi family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit is investigating a case of statutory rape, adding that the girl had been raped by someone known to her.
“I am deeply saddened to learn that a man entrusted with transporting a child can turn around and violate her in this manner. This is a call on us to do more to protect our children, we need to screen 'oMalume' and check if they do not appear on the child protection register of people convicted of committing crimes against children,” said social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza.
Khoza said her department had offered trauma counselling and would be engaging with the departments of education, transport and community safety to ensure that the screening process was implemented as soon as possible.
She also called for the speedy arrest of the man accused of the crime. “There is no reason why this man has not been arrested. The case was opened three months ago. This man is going on with his life like nothing happened, while the child whose life he has destroyed is dealing with the trauma alone. He must be thrown in jail,” said Khoza.
Mbele said the docket had been handed over to a prosecutor for a decision on prosecution.