South Africans demand justice for girl raped in toilet
Hundreds of South Africans staged a protest on Tuesday outside the Pretoria Magistrate Court, where a case involving a 20-year-old man accused of raping a seven-year-old girl was being heard.
The man, whose identity has not been revealed, raped the girl at a Pretoria franchise of family restaurant chain Dros on September 22. He followed the girl as she was heading to the toilet, and grabbed her to the men's restroom, where he raped her.
He was arrested on the same day, CNN reported citing police and local media reports.
Protesters carried placards to show their anger, reading "No bail for rape and murder" and "Do not rape our sister."
Besides raping, the man was also charged with drug possession, police said.
This is the latest incident in a string of rape cases in South Africa. Outraged protesters demanded harsher penalties for rape offenders all over the country.
A girl, 17, was reportedly raped at a hospital in the Eastern Cape province in September, according to authorities. The man pretended to be doctor and raped the girl who had just given birth.
In August, a 23-year-old student at the Rhodes University in Grahamstown killed herself after she reported that another student sexually assaulted her in May, according to the university.
Sexual violence poses a major challenge for South Africa. According to data released by the country's national statistical service in June, 138 in every 100,000 women were raped in the country in 2016 and 2017.
(Top image: Women protest during the #TotalShutDown march against gender-based violence in Cape Town, South Africa, August 1, 2018. /VCG Photo)