‘Deliver us from evil’



August 4, 2016
‘Deliver us from evil’

TROUBLES: Blikkiesdorp community is up in arms after alleged child rape attack. CREDIT: Bertram Malgas

Former Athlone mense want out of 'war camp'.

A group of former Athlone residents who say they were dumped in Blikkiesdorp six years ago, are now demanding to “go back home” after an eight-year-old child was raped.

The families have compared their living conditions to that of living in a “war concentration camp”.

About 63 families were evicted from the derelict Spes Bona Hostels, in Athlone, ahead of the Soccer World Cup in 2010, because the stadium was to be used for training by some of football’s biggest stars.

They say up till now, only 15 families have received homes in the N2 Gateway project, while 16 people have died.

Blikkiesdorp, created by the City of Cape Town to be a temporary relocation area (TRA) in 2007, is now home to more than 15 000 residents, all squeezed into 2 000 one-bedroom zinc hokkies, with four families forced to share one communal toilet.

The 47-year-old rape suspect was arrested last Thursday.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel André Traut says: “This office can confirm a suspect has been arrested for the alleged rape of an eight-year-old girl in Blikkiesdorp, Delft. He is due to appear in court once he has been charged.”

The girl told her mother she was raped the same evening, while she was being bathed.

The child’s aunt, 41, says the suspect is known to the child: “This man lived in Blikkiesdorp but moved with his family out of the area. He sleeps here during the week.”

Residents don’t feel safe in Blikkiesdorp..CREDIT: Bertram Malgas

The little girl tells the Daily Voice: “I was at my friend’s house and we were watching television when he called me to his room. He asked me to sit on his lap and he opened the button of my pants and began touching me.”

The girl’s aunt says they are desperate to move: “Here are too many evil things happening, he raped her using his fingers.”

Community worker Ethel van Ballen, 48, says the City has failed them.

“When we moved here we were told (we would be staying for) three months but it is six years,” she says.

“The community is angry because things like this never happened at Spes Bona. We want to go back and into homes.”

Mom of four Nadeema Allie says it’s like the country is at war, and they are living in a “concentration camp”.

“Here children drop out of school, become pregnant or gangsters, or they are being used for sex. This is not a life for our children.”

Benedicta van Minnen, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, says Spes Bona residents had a “housing emergency” and were therefore taken to Blikkiesdorp, but they do have a choice to apply for a state housing subsidy.

“If any of the residents in question would like to query their application status, they are welcome to contact the City of Cape Town’s Human Settlements Directorate,” she says.

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