Those who raped children and elderly women should not have a right to use their genitals and surgical castration was a suitable punishment for such heinous crimes, said civil rights movement #NotInMyName.
It launched its #CastrateChildRapists campaign yesterday after the arrest of a man, 45, whose identity cannot be revealed as he is related to one of the victims, who took two girls to a hotel in Sunnyside and allegedly raped them.
The man took them from Lotus Gardens in Pretoria West to a bottle store and then to the hotel, where he had booked a room.
One of the girls escaped and alerted hotel staff of their abduction and the crime, said police spokeswoman Brigadier Mathapelo Peters.
“Hotel security were alerted and police were called in and subsequently arrested the suspect, who was still in the hotel room,” she said.
His bail hearing was yesterday postponed to 7 December after a brief appearance in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.
The accused is currently on parole for another rape case.
A solution to preventing such crimes was surgical castration, said #NotInMyName secretary Themba Masango.
“We are calling for rapists who do these heinous crimes, especially on children and elderly women, to be castrated.
“Since South Africa doesn’t have the death sentence, this is fitting. It must be cut off so the public and community knows that these are rapists of children,” said Masango.
The movement, which attended the accused’s court appearance, also picketed in the foyer of the hotel where the alleged rapes took place.
Masango said the campaign would soon reach the department of justice and constitutional development. “It has been proven that these [rapists] don’t want to be part of society,” he said. “No amount of eating of the taxpayers’ money [in prison] is going to help.
“We want to mobilise civil societies and other political parties who are forward-thinking, to say these animals should not be granted the right to use their penises and to live like other men.”
Rape crimes were not about the use of penises, but a psychological issue that needs to be addressed, said researcher and gender-based violence activist Lisa Vetten.
“I think people are confused. “When you initiate castration, you are saying the problem has something to do with a man’s penis and hormones, rather than the problem with their thinking and attitudes. “It may well be that [ he] has psychological difficulties that should be addressed.”
“That is confusing the weapon with the cause.”