The devastated grandfather of a seven-year-old girl who was raped and killed has shared the pain that was brought to the family after her death.
Speaking to the Tongaat and Verulam Tabloid, Jabulani Tembe, the grandfather said: “The mother of the deceased minor left the child when she was only one-month-old and my son, the father of the child, later passed away leaving her in my care.”
Tembe said that what happened to his granddaughter was itself, very traumatic and painful, as the child only had him and his sister who took care of her.
Scores of protesters gathered outside the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 31 July, to vehemently oppose bail of the man who has been accused of the rape and murder of the child. The little girl was in Grade 2 at a local school.
According to KZN police provincial spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele, the child was raped and then stabbed in the chest in Waterloo on Saturday, 28 July. “She was taken to hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. A 26-year-old man was arrested by Verulam police for murder and rape,” said Mbele.
He grandfather Tembe said: “We don’t know how long this was happening for or if our child was the only one this man raped. It is painful because I think the man who did this knew we had nothing and lured our child to his place with sweets or food.”
He described his granddaughter as a happy child, who showed no signs of abuse. “Even at school she was doing very well and always smiling. This is still very devastating, how do we explain to the rest of our grandchildren what happened to their sister,” he said.
Tembe has appealed to the community for help with employment, since he is the only breadwinner. “I am the only one my sister has. Burying my grandchild was difficult because we do not have much. All I am asking for is to be given a job so that I can look after my sister and the rest of our grandchildren. We are all they have, nothing is as painful as not being able to provide even the basic things that are a need at home,” he said.