Kimberley – The community of Prieska is divided on how to deal with a 39-year-old suspect accused of the raped and assault of a 60-year-old woman in the town.
Some community members have called on the justice system to harshly deal with the accused while others indicated that they wanted to “deal” with the alleged rapist themselves.
“This crime is terrible. Something needs to be done urgently. We cannot live in fear and an example must be made of this man,” one resident stated on social media.
Another community member, Cashwine Boer, said that residents are not even safe in their own homes.
“It is once again evident that one is not safe anywhere, not even within the four walls of your home. These pests need to be named and shamed,” he said.
Community groups have been mobilised and called on residents to pack the courtroom during the appearance of the suspect today (Friday).
The incident has rocked the entire community with many residents saying that such incidents are turning the small town into a place of horror.
Police arrested the suspect on Monday after an extensive search was launched.
Police spokesperson, Brigadier Mohale Ramtseba, said the 60-year-old victim was sleeping inside her house during the early hours of Monday morning when the suspect allegedly broke in and attacked her.
Ramasteba said that the incident took place at about 1:30am.
“The victim was reportedly assaulted, hit with a hammer and raped. She is currently receiving medical treatment.”
In a letter circulated on social media, the father of the accused stated that he never suspected that his son was involved in the rape when the police came to look for him at home.
“It is with shock that I learnt that my son was a suspect in a rape case. When the police came to my house on Monday morning, I was under the impression that my son was involved in a burglary.
“The police left a cellphone number and requested me to call them the moment my son was home. I called them when my son returned home and even asked the police to hurry in case he decided to leave again.
“When they arrived at my house, they did not tell me why they were looking for my son. Later that day the police released my son, only to return to look for him again. I allowed them to search his room.
“On Tuesday morning the police came to arrest my son and my daughter informed me that my son was a suspect in a rape case. I would like to convey my deepest sympathy to the community. I fully support the call that bail should be denied for crimes such as rape, no matter who was involved.
“To the victim, her family, friends and colleagues, I hope that you are granted strength. I trust that God will heal your wounds,” the suspect’s father wrote in the letter.