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Police arrest sister

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Police arrest sister

by Unity Klazen
28 Mar 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

The sister of the eight-year-old Hanover Park girl who went missing over the weekend and was raped has been arrested for defeating the ends of justice.

Superintendent Basil Vallei from the Philippi Police Station says the woman arrested withheld critical information from the police, as she knew the girl's whereabouts.

According to information supplied to the police by the sister, she sent the eight-year-old to collect something from the suspect's home, but failed to supply the police with this information during their search.

The girl, who was raped by a man allegedly residing at the Walvis Court home she was sent to, went missing on Saturday evening just after 18:00 and was found by residents after a 14-hour marathon manhunt.

Police have confirmed that a 35-year-old suspect has been arrested and will appear in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court today on charges of abduction and rape.

Medical tests and forensic evidence on the scene proved that the missing girl had been raped.

Angry Hanover Park residents were in uproar on Sunday after discovering what had happened to the girl, and tried taking the law into their own hands, according to an eyewitness.

The resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says people were hurling stones at the block of flats where the man was allegedly hiding.

"While we waited for the police, people started throwing bricks and stones towards the flat and tried to get the man out. People started storming towards the door of the flat and started getting really rowdy." she says.

According to the witness, when the police arrived with almost 20 cars and a Casspir, bricks and stones were hurled at them too. She says the police then allegedly fired back at the people with rubber bullets.

Vallei confirms that rubber bullets were fired, although he says not at the crowd. He says that bullets were shot into the ground and ricocheted from there, as is police's policy at such scenes. He says the crowd was warned not to interfere while police were doing their duty, but says residents would not listen.

"It is our duty to protect a suspect until he appears in court. We cannot decide whether he is guilty. Whether he is a serial rapist or a murderer, the court will decide," says Vallei.

A 33-year-old man was also arrested for public violence and also appears in court today.

Police cars were damaged during the stone- and brick-throwing and four policemen were wounded by shots that are believed to have come from the crowd.

The sister of the 33-year-old man arrested for public violence, Sophia Fritz, who is also from Hanover Park, says that arresting only one person from a crowd for public violence is unfair. "We are planning to take this further as we believe that he was treated like a dog when he was arrested," she says. According to Fritz, police manhandled her brother while he was being arrested. She alleges that he was hit over the head with a gun by a policeman.

"We were very frustrated because he has a previous head injury, and it could affect him again," says Fritz.

Vallei says that any one who interferes while police are carrying out their duties and staging public violence will be arrested. He also says that the family is welcome to lodge a complaint about the incident.

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