The parents of the alleged rape victim are expected to appear at Kabokweni Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli, said this comes after the remains of a child were exhumed in Pienaar.
The young girl, aged 14 or 15, had allegedly been raped by her 43-year-old step-father with the assistance of her biological mother, aged 35.
“The news concerning the burial of a child in a shallow grave behind the shack where the family lived surfaced as police investigators tried to get a picture of the circumstances of the girl’s ordeal,” said Col. Mdhluli.
He added that valuable information came to light about a child whose whereabouts were unknown, after people in the neighborhood expressed concern about not seeing her for a while without notification of her death.
This eventually led to the exhumation and discovery of the child’s remains on June 7, 2023.
According to the investigation, both parents are now facing additional charges laid against them.
The investigation is ongoing, and a forensic investigation is underway to establish the cause of the child’s death.
“Police at this stage cannot rule out the possibility of adding more charges against them. So far, police have learned that the parents are not South African citizens, and it is believed that they are originally from Mozambique without valid documentation to be in the country.”
However, Col. Mdluli said police are working collaboratively with the Department of Home Affairs to ascertain their status in the country.
The young girl had reportedly run from home to escape her assailants, only to be taken in and raped by another man.
Some members of the community alerted the authorities this past week and the case was opened and investigated by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses (FCS) Unit in Pienaar.
The step-father, 43, and biological mother, 35, were arrested on June 6, 2023, and charged accordingly. The little girl and her four siblings were taken to a place of safety.
The parents appeared at the Kabokweni Magistrate’s Court on June 7, 2023, on charges of rape. Their case was postponed to June 14, 2023, and they are currently in custody.
Mpumalanga Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, has expressed outrage at the alleged behaviour of the parents against their child.
She said this was especially concerning as the sad story emerged during the celebration of Youth Month.
“Parents are tasked with the responsibility to bringing up children responsibly so that these young ones grow up to be responsible future parents. Children should be protected and never abused, including by their parents,” said Lieutenant Gen Manamela.