It has been a surreal few weeks for all South Africans. The month where we commemorate, revere, appreciate and remind ourselves to cherish women, has been marred with incidents of rape and murder. Women have been targeted in a way that seems to be coordinated in its execution. I will not excuse this pun, as it echoes the will and desire of the masses eLusikisiki who are calling for the death penalty for rapists and murderers of women and children.
The people have had enough! This was articulated through the messages displayed on protest boards at the first hearing of Mr Louis Pepping, who was today charged for the rape of a 6-year-old toddler at Ngobozana location. Pepping is said to be an Arts and Culture subject advisor for the department of education at the Lusikisiki district office.
The former teacher at Hillbrow S.S.S left under a cloud when he was accused of sexually harassing one of the learners. A source who worked for the department at the time described how Pepping allegedly fondled a learner during school. The explanation he supposedly offered at the time was that he was helping the girl who had climbed and was unable to get down. He supposedly claimed that in his attempt to help, his finger had mistakenly found its way into the child’s vagina.
This is just one of the stories that were being told of the infamous ‘Papa Pepping’ as the masses waited for him to appear in court today. The anger, hurt, disgust and pure blood lust directed at Pepping was on display for all who cared to see. Children, mothers, fathers, NGOs, civic organisations, political leaders and caring community members gathered outside the Lusikisiki magistrates court today to show their support for the family of the victim.
The speaker of the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality and convener of the ANCs RTT, Ntandokazi Capa was visibly shaken by the ordeal. She condemned the act and called for harsh. She said, as leaders they would approach the department on allegations that Pepping was promoted after allegations that he was a sexual delinquent as a teacher but was promoted to subject advisor at the department.
Mrs Chelsea Dumani, a local activist who has been supporting the family through this ordeal called for the whole to rally behind the family against pepping. She emotionally and painfully relived the experience of a niece who was raped and received no support from the community.
Tensions ran high as Pepping was kept in police custody before his bail application tomorrow (10/09/2019). Police threw tear gas and fired at the crow to disperse the as they were chanting and singing about ‘just wanting to chat with Pepping’.
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