An explosive video uploaded to YouTube has left many members of the close-knit Bo-Kaap community in shock. In the video, a young woman alleges that her paternal grandfather and his twin brother, both former principals at Cape schools, are child molesters and pedophiles.

She goes into detail about disturbing instances of sexual abuse she suffered at her grandfather’s hands, and adds that she was not the only one in the community who has stories such as these about the brothers.

After the release of the video, supporters of the young woman marched to the home of one of the accused

Thereafter, he released a statement in the form of a lawyer’s letter, denying the allegations. The letter stipulates that the allegations are “untrue and unsubstantiated”.

“It is unfortunate that this allegation has been made in the public domain and my client invites anyone who accuses him of any such conduct to charge him formally with the South African Police Service,” said the letter from the lawyer, as reported by IOL.

“In the circumstances, and should such a charge be laid against him, my client would welcome a prosecution so that he may clear his name of any such allegations. My client wishes to place on record that he has been a lifelong advocate for the rights of women and children and he strongly and unreservedly condemns gender-based violence and sexual abuse of any form.”

Now, several other women have come forward to corroborate the young woman’s harrowing story. The identities of the women are being kept private, but one victim, who is 29 years old, said she confided in a confidant about the abuse suffered at the hands of one of the brothers at the age of just 11 years old.

According to her, the abuse is mostly non-consensual touching and rubbing against her. It stopped after she confided in her parents and two friends from school.

“It’s not stopping. It’s just going on and it’s almost like they have so much power, and nobody will believe them (the victims),” she said.

Another family member of the brothers, who is now 37 years old, said that she was inappropriately touched from the age of 9 years old. She details how she was cornered in the bedroom of one of the brothers while no one else was there. He squeezed her breasts and kissed her neck.

“He would push me up against his bedroom wardrobe and rub against me and squeeze my breasts and kiss my neck. That is one thing that plays over,” she said.

According to police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana, no criminal complaint against any of the alleged perpetrators had been lodged.

One in four women suffer some from violence during their lifetime.

If you or someone you know who suffers from domestic or gender-based violence, The Warrior Project is a free legal helpline service.

– Free Legal Helpline (LawForAll) 0860 333 353

– Free Legal Advice on WhatsApp (LawForAll) 063 603 3759

– Stop Domestic Violence Helpline (Lifeline) 0800 150 150

– Childline 0800 055 555

– Report Child Abuse and request call back: SMS ‘help’ to 31022

– Report Abuse of Persons with Disabilities: SMS ‘help’ to 31531

– HIV/Aids Helpline 0800 012 322

For more information from The Warrior Project, click here. 

Picture: Radisson Blu

Article written by

Imogen Searra