A KIMBERLY man accused of raping his six-week-old niece was yesterday remanded in custody until December 12 when he returns to court for hearing of his application for bail.
The man, whose relatives claim is mentally disturbed, is also facing charges of stabbing a policeman just two weeks before he brutally violated the minor.
“The suspect is facing a count of attempted murder and rape for the stabbing of the police officer and the sexual attack on his niece,” NPA Northern Cape spokeswoman Shuping Malabi said yesterday.
According to witnesses, the man, who is an uncle to his rape victim, first chased the mother of the child out of the house on Tuesday night before allegedly raping the infant.
The mother, aged 22, fled to summon help from neighbours and upon coming back she found the baby naked and soaked in blood.
The man was arrested on Wednesday while the violated infant is now fighting for her life at the intensive care unit of Kimberly Hospital.
The incident has already sent shockwaves throughout the nation, with Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega being the first to visit the family yesterday to offer her sympathies.
The baby, who was born on October 17, is said to have suffered extensive injuries during the attack.
One of the rape suspect’s uncles has told the media that he blames the police and authorities at Kimberly Hospital’s mental health wing who he says discharged the man even though they knew he was not well.
The uncle says the suspect was shot and injured two weeks ago by the police after he had stabbed one of them.
The suspect had since the stabbing of the police officer been kept in hospital for observation until his release.
He raped the minor on the very same day he was released.
Meanwhile, in Bloemfontein the case of a Boshoff man accused of raping his two daughters aged 21 and 26 has been postponed to January 28 by the Bloemfontein Sexual Offences Court.
This, while a 51-year-old woman is awaiting sentencing in the same court next week after she was convicted of raping her son, who is now 17 years old, for almost 10 years.
South Africa, which along with the rest of the world is in the midst of commemorating the 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children campaign, has the most rapes per capita of anywhere in the world, with 3 600 rapes committed in the country every day.
Research by human rights groups and crime experts has shown that 40 percent of South African women will be raped at some point in their life.
In one survey, one in every four men polled admitted to being a rapist, with one in 10 of those admitting to being rapists having raped little girls.
Children are believed to be the victims of 41 percent of the rapes in the country.