LIMPOPO, South Africa – The Limpopo Police are investigating circumstances that led to a police case docket of a 17-year-old rape victim being discovered in the veld by someone collecting firewood.
The resident found the docket not far from the home of the rape victim and later informed the police. Limpopo police said they were now investigating how the docket ended up in the veld.
Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, said the the victim – who was 17 at the time – was raped by an unknown suspect at home in Vuwani in August 2016.
“The victim was allegedly sleeping in a house at Lwamondo-Khube village under Vuwani policing area when an intruder entered through the window after midnight and raped her.”
Mojapelo said the victim was taken to a doctor who confirmed the rape and the docket was then handed to the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for investigations.
Two months later, Mojapelo said, the docket was closed as undetected because the suspect could not be found.
“Closing the docket as undetected is an administrative process and does not in anyway suggest that it is the end of the case.
“Anytime new evidence comes to light, the case will then be reinstated and investigations will proceed.
“When cases are opened at any police station and investigations commence, it is the duty of the investigating officer to keep the victims or complainants abreast about the progress of the investigations. Whether or not this was done, will be determined by the unfolding internal investigations and appropriate measures will consequently be take,” he said.
The family was never informed that the docket had been closed despite it being procedural the victim be informed.
“The family complains this was not done, hence the internal investigations that have been launched. The South African Police Service in Limpopo takes all incidents of gender-based violence seriously and when all such cases are reported, they are prioritised to ensure possible speedy detection.”