Central Karoo community radio station Radio Gamkaland has played a pivotal role in the arrest of a man accused of severely assaulting his girlfriend’s two-year-old child. Police in the area requested that the station appeal for help from the community to find the alleged child abuser after the woman and child were rescued and the accused fled the scene. The child had to undergo emergency surgery.
Radio Gamkaland immediately broadcast an appeal, and the station’s 40 000 listeners ensured that within a short space of time, the 28-year-old suspect was apprehended . He now faces a charge of attempted murder. The man is accused of keeping his girlfriend and her child captive in their home in Beaufort West for a number of hours, of assaulting the toddler, burning his feet with boiling water and forcing him to eat his own faeces.
The rapid response to Radio Gamkaland’s appeal does not surprise Judy Milne, the director of The Media Connection and a long-time advocate of community radio. “We have observed time and again how powerful an influence community radio is in its broadcast area. Community radio is the mouthpiece of the general public and is well positioned to raise awareness around issues that affect listeners,” says Milne. “Well done to Radio Gamkaland for doing its bit to see that justice is served.”
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