A 43-year-old man was arrested for the alleged rape and murder of his five-year-old niece at Kwanonqubela, Alexandria in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Eastern Cape police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu, said in a statement issued on Sunday that a neighbour alerted the police of a person being assaulted at his home at about 05:40 on Saturday.
“On arrival, detectives found the brutally battered body of a five-year-old girl lying on the lounge floor.
“The suspect was very drunk and incoherent to give an account of what has happened.
“The victim, Siphenathi Xhali sustained multiple wounds on her body.
“It is suspected that she was murdered with a spade which was later found in a neighbour’s yard.
“It is also suspected that the child may have been raped.
“The post-mortem will be conducted to verify such suspicion,” Naidu said.
She stated that the child was taken from the neighbour’s house in the early hours of Saturday.
“It is alleged that the child’s mother had dropped her off at about 14:00 on Friday, 2 December 2022 at her father’s house in the same area.
“The father in turn left the child at the neighbour’s house,” she said.
“The 43-year-old suspect is detained on a charge of murder and is expected to appear in the Kenton-On-Sea Magistrate’s Court early next week.
“Pending the results of the post-mortem report, an additional charge of rape may be added.”
Eastern Cape provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene, has condemned the incident.
Mene said the brutality of gender-based violence was extremely concerning.
“It is alarming that communities fail to protect our children.
“Many are killed by the people they know, love and trust.
“These people are cruel and heartless and must be dealt with decisively especially when it comes to women and children.
“Such tragedy is extremely disturbing especially when the country is commemorating 16 Days of No Violence against Women and Children.
“It is time that everyone unites to end this devastating social ill in our society,” Mene said in a statement.