A homeless Verulam mother, is allegedly forcing her 7-year-old daughter to sell her tiny body to men to satisfy her alleged drug habit with the money paid by the perverts.
The mother, who is “well-known” by residents in the Verulam CBD, has been criticised for allegedly subjecting the little girl to horrific sexual trysts, instead of providing her child with tender loving care.
The concerned residents told The Phoenix Tabloid that the impoverished mother and daughter have been living at a particular spot in Verulam for years. The sexual violations against the girl have been happening in the open fields or in abandoned houses, said the residents.
However, Verulam police corporate communications officer, Captain Henry Kisten said that no reports of complaints were received from the public regarding this matter. “In our law, men who sexually abuse children can be charged for rape.
“The mother can be charged under the Sexual Offences Act. We are going to investigate the allegations and if it is true, the perpetrator should be arrested and the victim must be taken to a place of safety,” said Kisten. One angry resident, Roy Pillay, said sometimes the men who looked far older than the girl’s mother, disappeared without giving her any money after sexually abusing the girl.
“Instead of protecting her daughter, the mother is exploiting the child in a sinister way. Sometimes the child is put through unbelievable trauma by the perverts just for a bottle of beer, cigarettes or the use of a shower at the men’s homes. The mother should not have had a child. Because she is homeless, she should have taken her child to the Verulam Child and Family Welfare Society,” said Pillay. Pillay alleges he heard that the mother charged R100 every time men violated her child. “It is clear that some women do not see any other option of finding a way to provide for their families. It boggles the mind that a biological mother can prostitute her daughter,” said Pillay.
Another resident, Nathan Govender, said he was “shocked by this sad matter” and the wide-spread of prostitution in Verulam. He said he had seen many young women selling their bodies to older men on the streets at night.
“It is so sad that these girls engage in sex and are forced into sexual activities at such an early age. It exposes them to illness such as HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases. I have seen the mother roaming around her with her young daughter. I tried phoning the child welfare in Verulam but no action has been done yet,” said Govender.
“When I approached the child’s mother last year and tried to drum some sense into her, she became angry and defensive. She said she had lost hope and asked me to secure employment,’” he said.
Susan Chain-Reddy, a senior social worker at Verulam Child Welfare and Family Society said: “It is not fair what the mother is doing to the child. She is the one who is supposed to take care of the child, not the other way around. We normally take the children to a place of safety to give them a better life in our centre.”
Chain-Reddy added that no such case has been brought to their attention, but they would probe what was going on. “The child will need to be removed immediately if it is proved that these allegations are true, the law will have to run its course. The child needs to be taken for a medical examination and will be offered counselling. Once we take the child to a place of safety, we will try to assist the mother with rehab and other needs,” she said.
Provincial Social Development spokesperson, Ncumisa Fandezi said: “We will need to use Children’s Act to intervene, protect the child and we will also investigate the matter in order to get the child and mother out of the situation.”