Bongiwe Yeleki collecting what was left of her family’s belongings after their informal settlement was demolished by community members.
Bongiwe Yeleki collecting what was left of her family’s belongings after their informal settlement was demolished by community members.

Philippi family’s home demolished after reporting the rape of their daughter

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Oct 18, 2021

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Cape Town - A family in Marikana informal settlement, Philippi, is in shock after their house was destroyed by certain community members for allegedly reporting the rape of their daughter to the police.

The family has since sought refuge in another informal settlement.

The victim’s guardian Bongiwe Yeleki said threats to demolish their house started when they opened a case on Monday last week following a medical examination resulting in the arrest of the perpetrator the following day.

However, she said she was then called on Wednesday and informed her house was being destroyed by individuals she said she knew.

“They initially begged us not to open the case and when I refused they made threats to demolish my house. When the perpetrator appeared in court they were protesting outside the police station while my daughter was receiving counselling and they further begged me to close the case to which I declined and they demolished my house. I told them that if they were adamant about the perpetrator’s innocence and disregarded my daughter's claims, then they should let the court decide that,” she said.

Yeleki said all their building materials, furniture, personal belongings and clothes were stolen and mostly destroyed.

“We are still distraught, having to start from scratch, however counselling has been provided. We have moved in with our extended family members and we would appreciate any form of donations like school uniforms as the kids take turns to wear the same uniform,” she said.

The Greater People of South Africa (TGPSA) chairperson Zintle Khobeni said a forensic investigator, paralegal advisor and a social worker were deployed to assist the family.

“We are grateful to the police for stepping up when they were needed the most,” she said.

Khobeni said the perpetrator appeared at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on charges of rape and the TGPSA team was also able to assist the family to register a case of malicious damage to property.

“We are absolutely horrified at the community's barbaric behaviour and we call for justice for the victim and the family. The law must take its course and arrest those who participated in the destruction of the family's home. What kind of society are we living in?”

Khobeni said TGPSA was providing trauma counselling, paralegal advice and the family would also receive court support.

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Cape Argus

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