A 17-year-old woman and her 32-year-old boyfriend will return to the Protea Magistrate Court on Wednesday for the death of the teenager’s daughter.
Baby Nyiko Mthimunye was raped and allegedly assaulted on 15 November in Diepkloof, Soweto.
Her mother had left the two-year old in the care of her boyfriend for about two hours at the time of the incident.
On her return after 8pm, she told the police that found the child sleeping. They boyfriend was not around; only his father was at the house. She said she also went to sleep, not wanting to disturb the child.
The teenager says she woke up in the middle of the night to check on baby Nyiko, only to notice that she had serious injuries to her face. She took the child to the nearby Baragwanath Hospital for treatment and it was found that she had been raped. The doctor called the police.
Baby Nyiko succumbed to her injuries three days later and was laid to rest on Tuesday.
The mother and the boyfriend are charged with her murder. They first appeared in court last Wednesday and the case was shelved for today.
Police suspect that baby Nyiko may have suffered previous abuse at the hands of her stepfather and the matter was never reported. “This is the basis of the arrest of the teenage mother who in this instance, only reported the incident to the police two days later,” Police Gauteng Spokesperson, Brigadier Mathapelo Peters says.
Welcoming the duo’s arrest, Acting Provincial SAPS Commissioner, Major General Patricia Rampota, urged the investigating team to do a thorough job in order to ensure that justice is served for the two-year old Nyiko.
“The SAPS remains committed to upholding the rights of victims of gender based and domestic violence and femicide, and to prioritise the investigation of all cases where women, children and other vulnerable persons are victims,” she has said.
Hearings into allegations of abuse against Rivers of Living Waters Ministries leader, Bishop Stephen Zondo, are underway in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Commission) is conducting the probe.
Wednesday is day two of the hearings. On Tuesday, five witnesses took to the stand.
Former member of the church Solly Poopedi accused Zondo of using umuthi (traditional medicine) to gain power over his believers. He says the muthi also helps him exploit them sexually and financially, among other things.
Poopedi alleges that Zondo is highly connected and works with high ranking politicians, like MECs and Ministers who also bow down to him.
Zondo’s niece, Meisie Raename, was the second witness. She says the Bishop raped her when she was less than ten years of age. Zondo is said to have been between 18 and 19 years old at the time of the crime.
Raename described the incident as traumatic, as Zondo would call her among other children to come wash her socks but she would know “here comes pain.”
Bishop Zondo’s sister, Khabo Zondo, has accused the Rivers of Living Waters leader of murder, saying he killed her father and two other people who knew about his shenanigans whom she could not reveal names.
Former youth member at the church, Bongi Mofokeng, is among other women who say they were raped by the Bishop. She says she was promised R75 000 after being sexually violated by Zondo at a hotel in Southgate, near Soweto.
“If you tell anyone about what happened here your marriage will end and your closest family member will die,” Mofokeng says Zondo told her.
Former secretary of the church, Sizakele Poopedi, was the last witness to assume the hot seat. She says Bishop Zondo uses offerings of the church to fund his lifestyle not the organisation.
“The minimum fee for consultation with the Bishop is R10 000, just to say.”
The hearings continue at the CRL Commission in Braamfontein and Bishop Zondo is expected to tell his side of the story between today and tomorrow, when the proceedings wrap. – Reporty by VOW FM News’ Buhle Mbele
Gauteng Health says it has asked the police to investigate the claims.
The matter was brought into the spotlight by DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, Jack Bloom, on Monday – saying workers at the health facility were worried that the incident could be swept under the carpet.
A male patient is said to have sexually assaulted a 16-year-old fellow healthcare user at the facility – raising concerns over safety.
“I want to reassure members of the public that the issue of safety at our public health facilities is a priority. We continue to work with law enforcement agencies to strengthen preventative and response measures,” says acting Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo, in a statement.
The Department says the rape survivor is receiving medical and psychological support. His family has also been counselled.
Bloom has said the rape is the 11th violent incident at the hospital.
Another patient was killed in May by a fellow patient.
A man has allegedly been raped at Bheki Mlangeni Psychiatric Hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg.
“It appears that a male psychiatric patient at Bheki Mlangeni raped another male patient, who was then taken to the Nthabiseng Rape Centre at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital,” says DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, Jack Bloom, in a statement.
Bloom says this is the 11th” violent incident at Bheki Mlangeni this year alone.
He is calling for the sacking of the hospital CEO, Ruth Mabyana, who was reinstated in August after a precautionary leave over a fatal stabbing incident at the health facility.
“In my view, Mabyana is the worst hospital CEO in Gauteng and should have been removed long ago after scandals that include a string of violent assaults on patients and staff as well as a jobs-for-sale racket. It is not forgivable that yet another assault has occurred on a patient at this hospital. Effective steps should have been taken to ensure that mental health patients are only admitted to a dedicated high security ward,” he says.
He adds that: “New management is needed urgently at the hospital to ensure that patients and staff are in a secure environment without threat of violence.”
Gauteng Health says Acting MEC Jacob Mamabolo has dispatched a team to Bheki Mlangeni Hospital to investigate the latest claims.
“A statement will be issued later today once a preliminary report is compiled,” says the department.