Child rape at crèche: justice sought

A Durban family is calling for the facility to shut down and for the owner to be arrested alongside the alleged rapist after an alleged child rape incident at a day-care centre.

A Durban family is calling for the facility to shut down and for the owner to be arrested alongside the alleged rapist after an alleged child rape incident at a day-care centre.

Published May 14, 2024


Durban — A Durban family has called for justice to be served and for a daycare owner to be arrested following an alleged child rape at a Newlands East daycare facility.

The grandmother of the victim, who did not want to be named to protect the child’s identity, shared the events that led to the tragic incident.

She said: “On May 6, my daughter left the baby at the crèche at 8am. Upon handing the baby over to the crèche owner, the owner told my daughter that there were only two babies – the 1-year-11-month baby (i.e. my grandchild) and another baby – including herself and her husband on the premises as all the other children who were not wearing nappies went for swimming lessons.

“At around 5.45pm to 6pm, my daughter called to ask if (my partner) could go pick up the baby at the crèche. (My partner) went to pick up the baby.

“Upon her arrival, the baby was crying. When the baby arrived home, she was still crying. My daughter arrived 10 minutes later and upon her arrival, the baby was still crying and was pulling on her nappy, indicating to mom that her ‘cookie (vagina) is sore’.

“We initially ignored it as we thought it was just a peeing issue; that the pee was burning. She was crying for extended hours. We went to King George Hospital later that night and the paediatrician said it was just an infection and that if it is still sore/swollen in two weeks, then we must come back. I was not happy with the reply as I also do not have money for the script.”

The grandmother added: “The next day (May 7), we went to the Newlands East Medical Centre. Upon our visit with the general practitioner, (she) said the baby had been tampered with.

“She referred us to Addington Hospital. There, the doctor did not have a rape kit. On Wednesday, May 8, we went back to the GP and asked where to go because we were not getting results despite multiple visits.”

On Wednesday, they went to Newlands East police station and were contacted by a warrant officer. She said the officer spoke to her daughter and said that she was about to arrest her due to defamatory messages that were posted on social media, and there were complaints from the owner.

“The officer also mentioned that no case was opened. She even said that she would take the child for social care.

“We explained that we have been sent up and down from the various hospitals, looking for a rape kit. We even showed her the referral letter from the GP.

“I even showed the video and pictures,” the grandmother said.

Upon showing the pictures and videos, the warrant officer could see that something was wrong and directed her to the Thuthuzela Care Centre, she said.

“We only received a district surgeon in the early hours of Thursday morning. The surgeon confirmed that there was indeed penis penetration. Later that evening, we opened a case at the Newlands East police station.”

“On Friday, an investigating officer from the Family Crisis Services visited us and asked questions. This morning, (Monday) he alerted us that the investigation is still ongoing.”

Rapid Response Team Leader on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide – Newlands East (ward 11), Dr Nadia Bernon, raised the issue of the crèche only taking baby girls and that they must be at the age of 5.

“They don’t have boys. As activists in the community, we did not know the husband has a sexual offence and rape cases history. Knowing that her husband has such a history, why did she open a crèche and leave the baby to the husband? At 8pm on Thursday, I was served with harassment papers from the crèche’s owner while I was on the call with the grandmother.”

Bernon asked if the owner and the alleged rapist could be arrested and if the crèche could be shut down.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said Newlands East police are investigating an alleged rape case.

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