On October 21, a video uploaded on YouTube [TW: Sexual abuse and pedophilia] sent shock waves around the Bo-Kaap community, and the country beyond. The woman in the video alleges years of sexual abuse by her grandfather, a member of the Bo-Kaap community and a former high school principal.
In the video, the woman says the abuse started when she was five-years-old and only ended when she was 11-years-old when her family moved abroad. The woman alleges many other women were victims over sexual abuse by her grandfather and his twin brother over a period of more than 50 years. In the days following the release of the video, there has been a lot of support for the woman on social media and in-person.
On Thursday, October 22, members of the Bo-Kaap community marched to the houses of one of the alleged perpetrators. They also marched through Bo-Kapp holding a picket calling on people to speak out against gender-based violence.
The men have been suspended from their positions in the Bo Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association. The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) also released a statement noting the allegations and further announcing the suspension of one of the men who served on the MJC’s Education Board. They’ve encouraged victims of sexual abuse to speak out and seek legal recourse.
One of the men named in the video has denied the allegations. In a letter distributed by his lawyer, he denies having been party to any unlawful conduct. The man says he has never been confronted with any allegation of this nature prior to the allegations this week. The lawyer has requested that community radio station Voice of the Cape and Independent Newspapers retract the allegations.