Police have denied that a 43-year-old Verulam mechanic accused of raping his 10-year-old step-daughter escaped from hospital after he was assaulted by the community.

KZN provincial spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said: “He was only arrested on Tuesday and not on Monday. Someone took him to the hospital, where he was not under police guard.” Mbhele added that the suspect has been detained at the Verulam police station and was facing a rape charge.

 According to RUSA, the suspect fled from the Osindisweni Hospital in Verulam after his apprehension on Monday, and was re-arrested by reaction officers in Phoenix on Tuesday afternoon.

“Reaction officers were dispatched to a business after staff recognised the suspect from a post on our Facebook page where he was circulated as being sought. His face was circulated in the interest of the child’s safety.

According to the minor child, her step-father repeatedly violated her since the age of five, said Vinod Singh of Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA). The alleged rapist was initially apprehended and assaulted by the community on Neptune Drive, Verulam on Monday, 11 June, when word of his actions got out.

This followed after RUSA officers were called out to Neptune Drive after a neighbour found used condoms in the suspect’s home. Upon arrival officers found the alleged rapist was severely assaulted by an angry mob,” said RUSA’s Vinod Singh.

“The neighbour had questioned the child, who admitted that she was being raped by her stepfather since her mother’s death five years ago. The child explained that she and her stepfather had moved to Verulam from Johannesburg in December last year,” said Singh.

Singh said that the suspect sealed all the windows in their home and held her captive in the house while he was at work. “He also did not enroll her in school so that she would not tell anyone about the abuse that she was going through. The child also alleged that she also made her sleep with other men to subsidise his income as a mechanic,” said Singh.