22 May 2017

South Africa: Girl, 12, Given Chocolate After Rape

Photo: Pixababy
(file photo).

Three decades ago, businessman Sydney Frankel would invite a 12-year-old girl into his office, sit her on his lap and sexually abuse her.

"He would penetrate her, insisting that she feels good and she enjoys it," the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg heard on Monday morning.

"This is classic paedophile behaviour. He would then penetrate her so hard, she would bleed. He would then give her a Rolo chocolate afterward to comfort her. She would then proceed to the toilet to clean up the blood and wash her panties," Anton Katz, for the woman, told the court.

The woman stepped out of courtroom 9C as Katz, recounted just one of her horrific experiences between 1970, when she was 6, and 1976.

The NGO, Women and Men Against Child Abuse, approached the court to have Section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) declared unconstitutional.

Criminal charges

It states that the right to initiate prosecution lapses after 20 years. This covers crimes like sexual assaults. Excluded are serious offences like murder, treason, kidnapping, genocide, and rape.

The eight applicants, known as the Frankel 8, argue that the current limitation infringes on their right to dignity.

"The law, as my ladyship will see, is inconsistent, as we argue, with the Constitution, therefore, it's invalid as it stands today," argued Katz.

The applications claim Frankel sexually assaulted the women 30 years ago, over a 10-year period. They were between the ages of 7 and 15 at the time.

They laid criminal charges in 2015, but the case never went ahead due to the limitation.

Frankel died of cancer in his Johannesburg home on April 13 this year. He was 68.

"My clients have not only been traumatised by what was done to them, but by the secondary victimisation because they have not been given adequate and effective protection," said Katz.

He detailed the experience of one the women.

"During the visits to his workplace, Mr Frankel would request that she come and visit him on her own in his office. He would sit with her on his lap. He would position her in such a manner that her body would have direct contact with his penis. He would place her hand on his penis and tell her to rub it. This is a child who is 12. He would then place his hand on her."

The victim's mother is in her 70s and worked for Frankel for 30 years. She still suffers from the trauma of not having protected her child.

The court heard that the experience affected the girl's whole family. They were psychologically traumatised, suffered from depression, and struggled with sexuality issues. Some were unable to form meaningful relationships.

A ruling in favour of changing the law would be subject to confirmation by the Constitutional Court.

The case was adjourned on Monday as media houses ANN7 and the SABC filed an application to have the matter broadcast.

Source: News24

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