A court in Cape Town authorised a warrant on Friday, for the arrest of a man who failed to appear in court for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl.

The girl’s mother, who may not be named, was alone in the dock, facing two charges of conspiracy to commit sexual offences, and four of involving the alleged exploitation of a child for sexual purposes.

Both the mother, as well as her “common law husband”, Aamien Francis, of Phillipi on the Cape Flats, have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

They are on trial in the Parow Sexual Offences Court, before magistrate Mandy van Leeve.

At the request of prosecutor Yolanda Pretorius, the case was postponed to June 5.

According to the charge sheet, the mother left her child, aged three at the time, in the care of a foster mother, because the mother herself did not know how to raise a girl.

When the girl was 12, the mother removed the child from the foster mother, in order to register the child for a South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) grant.

Instead of allowing the child to continue with her schooling, the mother kept her at home on the pretence that she was ill. The mother would then invite Francis to her home, where he allegedly raped the child in the presence of her mother, before taking the mother shopping for groceries.

According to the charge sheet, the girl managed to inform her foster mother of what was going.

In previous proceedings, the magistrate praised court interpreter Nicolas Mtima for “meticulously” translating a complex medical report from English to Afrikaans for the two Afrikaans-speaking accused.

The magistrate said Mtima had “risen to the occasion”, and added: “That was the most exemplary interpretation of a very complicated medical report, that I have ever encountered on the Bench.”