South Africans are outraged after a 20-year-old man allegedly raped a seven-year-old girl in a restaurant in Pretoria Saturday. The man reportedly followed her into the women's toilet before snatching and raping her in the men’s section according to the police.
He was immediately arrested and charged with rape and drug possession. On Tuesday, Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini confirmed to News24 that a rape case was being investigated and that the accused had appeared in court.
The news of the rape case first surfaced on social media when a customer from the restaurant posted on Facebook: "I'm at Dros in Silverton en this man just raped a six-year-old in the toilet … police are here, she is bleeding … the guy looks 24 … apparently he was scouting her while she was playing in the kid's area en waited for her to go to the toilet (sic)."
According to reports by local newspapers, the mother of the child was unable to find the girl and at one point tried to open the toilet door when she heard noise from inside. After she started making a commotion and failing to open the door, the accused opened it and the child was found in a shocked state inside.
Citizens of the country, which has one of the highest incidences of rape in the world, were outraged when the news broke. Between March 2017 to March 2018, the police recorded 40,035 cases of rape, which increased from the previous year’s record of 39,828 rapes. 110 persons are raped each day on an average in the country.
In another case, a fake doctor allegedly raped a minor at a hospital in Eastern Cape provinces have also made the public angry. They have been demanding justice for survivors and criticizing the country’s justice system for being too lenient.
The restaurant where the incident took place, released a statement on Tuesday saying, "We have been in contact with the parents of the child to convey our sympathy and offered our assistance in any form that would (or could) reasonably be required in a matter of this nature."
The police spokesperson Dlamini said, “The incident involves a minor so I can't disclose any information about it.”