More women have come forward to accuse two elderly Bo-Kaap brothers of sexual abuse.
They said they were prompted to speak out after reading a lawyer’s letter - which was sent to the Cape Argus, the Daily Voice and Voice of the Cape radio station - from one of the brothers denying all allegations made against his client, calling it “wild, unsubstantiated and untrue”.
A 29-year-old woman said she was 11-years-old when she told someone about the abuse, which started a few years earlier.
At the age of eight or nine, the abuse had consisted of mostly touching and rubbing against her.
She confided in her parents and two school friends at the time. It then stopped.
She explains the reason for her speaking out now: “It’s not stopping. It’s just going on and it’s almost like they have so much power, and nobody will believe them (the victims).”
A 37-year-old family member said her abuse started at the age of nine or 10, with mostly inappropriate touching.
One memory that continues to haunt her was a function at his brother’s house. He was told to get something from his house and he asked her to accompany him to the house.
“Because you are so scared, you don’t want to say no, so I went with,” she said.
No one was at the house and he cornered her in his bedroom.
“He would push me up against his bedroom wardrobe and rub against me and squeeze my breasts and kiss my neck. That is one thing that plays over.”
Once she was older, she made sure to keep her distance from him.
She said upon reading the lawyer’s letter, she had a breakdown at work.
“I wanted to scream how can he say that and lie because I know what he did and know it was not just me.”
She said he would mostly make unwanted advances at her when his wife was not around.
“No one knew about it. I always said it’s something I’d take to my grave. The reason why I never came out to anyone is because they are people with power.
She recalled him saying once over the phone: “The reason why I did those things to you was because you were very insecure as a child and you needed help.”
She said that because of their prominence in the community, she was afraid to speak up on the abuse and because of their close proximity to the family, she would not be laying a criminal charge.
Another woman said she believed she was among the first to have been assaulted by him several decades ago.
“When puberty hit, he used to tickle my neck and play with my breasts. I was 10 or 11,” she said.
She said she had confided in her sibling at 18-years-old. She was aware that she was not the worst case: “There are more victims in the family.”
This follows less than a week after a young woman revealed in a video that she had been sexually abused by her paternal grandfather from the age of five.
The YouTube clip has been viewed over 100 000 times.
Now living in Jordan, she said there was never an opportunity to open a criminal case against him.
As a child, she lived on the same property as her grandfather. The abuse ended when she was 11 and moved with her family abroad.
The latest young woman to come forward is a close relative of the first victim.
She said the abuse started when she was eight years old and ended when she was 14.
“The first incident happened after I took wudhu (washing before prayer) in the bathroom and he came in and when I walked out, he pulled me back and held my wrists.
“He kissed and groped me. Then someone downstairs told me to hurry up, so he let me go and told me I’d make a good wife and then we all made salaah.”
On Saturday, EFF members protested outside the residence of the two accused in Upper Bloem Street, demanding that they leave the community. A memorandum was handed over stating that their actions had “violated the spirit of the community”.
Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said no criminal complaint against any of the alleged perpetrators had been lodged.