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Rape victim's mom speaks of the pain in waiting for trial against ex-City employee to start

Former sub-council manager Raphael Martin yesterday appeared in the Mitchell’s Plain Regional Court for allegedly raping a minor. The case was postponed to March 23 for the victim to testify. Picture: Supplied

Former sub-council manager Raphael Martin yesterday appeared in the Mitchell’s Plain Regional Court for allegedly raping a minor. The case was postponed to March 23 for the victim to testify. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 19, 2022

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Cape Town - Former City of Cape Town employee Raphael Martin on Tuesday appeared in the Mitchells Plain Regional Court for allegedly raping a minor.

Martin has been charged with two counts of rape and one of sexual assault for the rape of a teenage girl.

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He was arrested in June 2020 after the girl revealed to her family that she had allegedly been raped for three years. A medical examination confirmed the girl had also been sodomised during this time.

When the rape allegations surfaced, Martin was a sub-council manager in Mitchells Plain. His contract was terminated after he was subjected to a disciplinary hearing.

The trial was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, however the intermediary required to assist in the case was unavailable.

Three witnesses were present to provide testimony, including the teenage victim who was unable to testify without the presence of the intermediary, given the fact that she is still a minor.

The case was postponed to March 23 for the trial to commence, witnesses are expected to testify then.

Outside the court, the victim’s mother, who cannot be named, confirmed Martin was a family member.

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“It’s so difficult for victims to come forward, especially when they mention who the person is. It’s so hard for the community to believe that it can be that person.

“It must be alternative motives when it comes to the victim; never outright do they stand with the victim, that is the problem I have. And that is the reason why a lot of victims are scared to come forward,” she said.

She expressed frustration at how long the process had taken.

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“It has been difficult for her to speak every time, what with all these postponements; it takes a toll on her. As parents we want to get it over and done with, especially with her still being at school. Mentally and physically it is draining. I persevere because I want justice and I said to myself even though its going to take another year or another two years, I’m not giving up,” she said.

She also encouraged other victims to report rape cases and to speak out.

“Take action, no matter who the perpetrator is, even if it is your own husband, your own family member, your neighbour. Go forward because we need to put a stop to this vicious cycle. Never ever doubt your children, if they come to you, you stand with them – speak out, name the perpetrator,” she said.

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Martin is currently out on bail, which was extended until his next appearance.

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Cape Argus

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