A man has been arrested for allegedly raping an 18-year-old girl at the Strandfontein temporary shelter designated for the homeless amid the nationwide lockdown. The attack reportedly occurred on Friday night [April 10].
“The circumstances surrounding the rape of an 18-year-old girl last night at the Strandfontein temporary shelter are being investigated by the Mitchells Plain Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigations (FCS) unit,” said SAPS Western Cape spokesperson Andrè Traut on Saturday, April 11.
Speaking to IOL on April 13, Traut said that a 36-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the rape. He is expected to appear in Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court today, April 14.
This case has contributed to mass controversy surrounding the temporary shelter. Many have opposed the Strandfontein camp for the harsh living conditions the homeless are reportedly subject to. The ANC caucus in the Western Cape is calling for the camp to be closed immediately and has urged national government to intervene.
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato has issued a response in which he calls out unnamed political parties for turning the case into a political matter.
“I find it alarming that some political parties have already seized on the opportunity to turn this into a political matter. No facts have been determined yet, so it is entirely inappropriate for an opposition political party to state as fact that an 18-year-old was raped.
“At this point, we can provide no details as the matter is under investigation. I have called on the SAPS to conduct and conclude their investigation with urgency so that we can provide the facts to the public of Cape Town in an environment where half-truths and misinformation is being spread like wildfire.”
Plato argues that none of the people in the temporary shelter are being kept there against their will, and that the City is working to ensure the well being of all those on site.
“We are working hard to address any of the shortcomings that have been identified. Municipalities across the country have had to act with little preparation time and we are doing the best we can to provide these services under a very challenging time.”