Law enforcement agencies have been called to swiftly rearrest a man who is allegedly involved in the kidnapping of a nine-year-old girl.
According to a report, the child from Sigedleni in Ixobho, in Southern KwaZulu-Natal was reported missing on 30 August 2023 and found in a harrowing situation on 02 September 2023.
It was reported that the child was being locked inside a house by a neighbour who allegedly sexually abused her.
The accused was initially apprehended and brought before the local magistrate's court. However, he was released last week after a rape case was not placed on the court roll.
KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza has expressed deep dismay at the incident and called for rearrest of the accused.
“Cases of rape and gender-based violence (GBV) are very serious and should not be allowed to go unpunished. We expect the police and relevant authorities to take immediate and decisive action to ensure that justice is served and that the perpetrator does not evade accountability,” Khoza said.
The MEC said it was disappointing that the suspect was let off the hook after the case was not put on the court roll.
“The department is committed to working closely with law enforcement agencies, community organisations and all stakeholders to provide support and assistance to the affected child and her family. We are also dedicated to implementing measures that will help prevent such heinous acts from occurring in future,” the MEC said.
Khoza said the department has dispatched a team of social workers to meet with the family and ensure the safety of the girl.
Campaign against substance abuse
Meanwhile, Khoza will today spearhead a campaign aimed at combating substance abuse and eradicating the illegal drug trade within the Mpembeni area of Umhlathuze, particularly in Ward 13.
The campaign seeks to address the significant challenges posed by drug peddling, including prevention, rehabilitation, community education and law enforcement efforts.
The key objectives of the campaign include:
• Engaging with local residents to raise awareness about the dangers of substance abuse and the importance of community unity in fighting this issue.
• Collaborating with law enforcement agencies to increase patrols and intelligence efforts to combat drug trafficking and apprehend those involved.
• Ensuring that individuals struggling with substance abuse have access to treatment and rehabilitation services to aid in their recovery and reintegration into society.
• Implementing educational programs in schools and community centres to prevent the initiation of drug use among youth.
• Offering support to families affected by substance abuse, providing guidance, counselling and resources to help them cope.
“Khoza, along with key stakeholders from law enforcement agencies, local government officials, community leaders and experts in the field will roll out this critical campaign,” the department said.
The event will be held at Mpembeni Sportsground. – SAnews.gov.za