A Mitchells Plain shopkeeper has been arrested for allegedly molesting a 10-year-old girl he kidnapped when she went to buy sweets at his winkel.
The grandmother of the child from Lentegeur says she went to the shop in nearby Blombos Street around 5pm on Saturday and when the girl didn’t return after a few minutes, they went to look for her.
The family immediately called the police, made a missing person flyer to circulate and also posted it on social media.
The ouma explains: “The police did not come. After 9pm, while we were searching, the police arrived and told us to go back to our homes as it was curfew time.
“We tried explaining that a child was missing, but they did not care and asked us to go indoors.”
The grandmother says someone approached them just before 10pm and told them that the child was last seen at the shop in Blombos Street.
They rushed there and saw the child inside.
“The shop usually closes around 9pm, but he closed earlier on Saturday. We saw the child through a hole and we kicked the door open,” she says.
Angry residents bayed for the shopkeeper’s blood, but he was rescued by cops who arrested him and took him away. His shop was also ransacked.
The ouma says her grandchild was tied up, fed sweets and molested.
“My child told me that she was tied with a tape on her mouth and hands. He gave her sweets then would close the tape again.
“I do not want to put the way it happened, but he molested her.”
It has since emerged that the man previously owned shops in Bishop Lavis and Ravensmead but was chased out of the areas for allegedly molesting children.
The shopkeeper is renting a converted garage in Blombos Street from where he is running his shop alone.
The victim’s grandmother adds: “My child is traumatised and does not want to go out anymore. My heart is sore because he took away my child’s innocence and had the nerve to say ‘this child is not a child anymore’.”
Police spokesman Colonel Andrè Traut says: “This office can confirm that a suspect was indeed arrested for kidnapping of a child last night in Lentegeur.”
The suspect is due to appear in the Mitchells Plain Magistrates’ Court today.
Traut said he was for waiting more information before he could respond to the granny’s allegations against the cops.