In an initiative to pay for therapy for the seven-year-old girl allegedly raped at Dros Restaurant in Pretoria, an anonymous group of people has set up a campaign via crowdfunding platform BackaBuddy. Over R133 000 has already been donated, as of today, 15 October. The campaign description reads:

‘ … what’s most important is doing what we can to help the victim and her family to try and live a normal life from here on, and we’d like your help! We’ve set up this fund to help with the costs of everything a victim might need to help readjust after something like this, whether that is medical costs, therapy, or other needs. Any funds raised above those immediate needs will go towards an education fund.’

TimesLIVE spoke to the spokesperson of BackaBuddy, Zane Groenewald, who said, ‘Having spoken to the family representative (on Thursday morning)‚ we understand how much this means to them during a very difficult time in their lives. And although financial means won’t minimise their pain‚ we hope it will have a positive impact on them going forward.’

Who are the donors? 

This case has clearly struck a chord with the public, as South Africa faces a crisis of rape and sexual violence. In many cases the victims do not get adequate psychological support. One donor has contributed R31 000, and South Africans have made the large majority of donations with a few international donors doing their bit. The founders of the BackaBuddy campaign have elected not to be named.

It’s refreshing to see South Africans getting directly involved and not just commentating from their keyboards. At the same time it’s disturbing that public outrage only spills over into action in the most extreme of cases.

The Dros accused, Nicholas Ninow, has been charged with rape, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and possession of drugs. He is to appear in court again on 1 November.

You can find out more or donate to the BackaBuddy campaign here.