October 29 2008 at 09:39AM
The rape of a Pretoria teenager during an attack on a smallholding early on Tuesday morning has outraged local farming communities.
They say the police have failed to deliver their promise to protect residents living in and around Kameeldrift.
Representatives for the Kameeldrift community have now called on government to step in to stop the spate of armed robberies, rapes and murders that have plagued them and surrounding areas.
On Friday a Kameeldrift security initiative - the Leeuwfontein Area Protection Initiative (API) - sent a letter to the Safety and Security Ministry calling on government to help beleaguered households.
A copy of the letter is in the Pretoria News' possession, as well as a letter from Kameeldrift police station commissioner, Superintendent Edwin Lelaka, which was sent to residents three days after their letter was sent to the ministry.
Lelaka's letter states that a plan was in place and only needed some "editing" before being available soon. His letter arrived the day before another family fell victim to a gang of house robbers.
On Tuesday, four gunmen broke into a Boekenhoutkloof house attacking the owners while they were asleep.
Boekenhoutkloof borders Kameeldrift. The men tied up the 45-year-old homeowner, his wife, 39, their 17-year-old daughter and their two sons, aged 15 and seven.
One of the gunmen dragged the girl to a bedroom where he repeatedly raped her while his accomplices ransacked the family's home.
The family cannot be named as it will identify the teenager.
The attackers then loaded household electrical appliances into the family's car, which was later found abandoned in Mamelodi.
The attack follows the murder of Leeuwfontein resident Marius McDonald, 41, on Sunday and the killing of Rudi Roach, 51, last week in his Kameeldrift house during a robbery which left his son fighting for his life. The son is still in a critical condition in hospital.
Police have rejected allegations that they are sitting idle.
Requests to Lelaka for information on the plan and recent successes drew a blank.
"Unfortunately because of the sensitivity of the plans we cannot divulge what they are, except to say that the necessary strategies are in place," he said.
Deon Grobler, Leeuwfontein API chairperson, said they were tired of empty promises.
"We have tried everything in our power to help the police, but it is for nothing because it is clear that there is no will from the policing leadership in our area.
"We are promised help, but it never arrives. When we were under siege in June help came, but it was only temporary.
"Now that we are under siege again, there is nothing.
"How can you tell people you are protecting them when your crime prevention unit is so critically understaffed that they cannot possibly patrol the 37 000ha area?
"How can you tell people you are protecting them when you don't tell them what your crime fighting plan is?
"It is clear that there is a serious problem and as long as it is not addressed people will continue to be murdered and raped," he said.
Asked about the manpower of the station's crime prevention unit, Lelaka declined to comment for fear of aiding criminals
Gerrit Klopper, who operates a Kameeldrift community support group, said the attacks were no longer "simple" crimes.
"It is an onslaught. It is rural warfare on the verge of terrorism."
He said despite the community starting patrols, community watches and numbering plots in an effort to help fight crime, the police had yet to fulfil their role.
"It is about time they stop talking about stopping crime actually stop crime," he said.
With regard to the latest attack, police spokesperson Johannes Jaftha said a case of rape and armed robbery was being investigated and no arrests had been made.
Anyone with information on the attackers can contact Crime Stop on 086 001 0111.
This article was originally published on page 4 of Pretoria News on October 29, 2008