From the news desk

Another arrest in Al Noor orphanage case

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The manager of the Al Noor orphanage has been arrested in connection with the abuse of children at the facility. It’s believed the 26-year-old man handed himself over to police on Monday. Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said the suspect appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate Court on Tuesday on charges of assault to do grievous bodily harm, sexual assault and sexual grooming of a child.

“The case has been postponed to the 27th of July for further investigation. The accused has been released on bail,” said Van Wyk.

According to sources, the suspect has been on the run since the removal of 17 children at the facility last month. The founder of the orphanage Amina Okpara was arrested on multiple charges including the contravention of the immigration act and a charge of fraud. She is accused of allegedly stealing donations meant for the orphanage and re-directing the funds into her personal bank account. It’s believed sexual offences charges could be added soon.

The Western Cape department of social development spokesperson Esther Lewis said they welcome another arrest in the case.

“Last month the department was alerted to serious allegations of sexual and physical abuse, conducted a preliminary investigation and removed 17 children from the centre as a precautionary measure. The matter was reported to the police,” she said.

“The children were all placed in alternative places of safety. Al Noor Orphanage’s conditional registration was also revoked shortly after the removal of the children.”

Lewis said the department will closely monitor developments in this case. VOC

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