By Mandlakazi Nqeketo
An Eastern Cape man has been arrested for allegedly forcing six boys to have sex with his sheep in a kraal in Lukholo village, Mbizana.
The 65-year-old man appeared in Mbizana Magistrate’s Court on Monday after his arrest on Friday.
The case was postponed to May 4 for a formal bail application.
Eastern Cape police spokesman Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana said police had arrested the man and charged him with forced rape by forcing the nine- to 12-year-old boys to commit the crime.
The arrest comes after a prominent Eastern Cape children’s rights group warned Eastern Cape Social Development Minister Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi and the provincial commissioner of police Lieutenant-General Nomthetheleli Mene of the incident.
The Khula Community Development Project (KCDP) has responded to urgent police action.
KCDP Director Peter Majola said, “I have received distressing phone calls from the boys’ parents informing me of the disturbing incident. I have had an interview with one of the parents and one of the boys and the boy has indeed confirmed the incident.”
Mani-Lusithi said the Department would send social workers to provide psychological support to children and their families. He added that he regarded the incident as part of a wider social crisis in South African society.
Mani-Lusithi added that civil society organizations, religious leaders and government leaders should work together to develop rehabilitation programs to prevent the increase in debt.
“We need to strengthen our justice system and the judiciary to work honestly for GBV perpetrators and inhumane acts,” Mani-Lusithi added.
Majola called for the justice system to move swiftly and intentionally to provide victims with justice.
The matter is being investigated by the Family Violence, Child Abuse and Sexual Offenses Unit.
Meanwhile, the SPCA described the allegations as disgusting and asked the court to take the case to the high court.