Sex case: Daughters ‘are afraid’

2012-03-16 00:00

THE wife of a Himeville man accused of sexually abusing his teenage daughter and stepdaughter said the children had been “fearful and angry” since his arrest.

The man, who is connected with a Christian camp for children, shook as he consulted his lawyer in court during yesterday’s bail application. He cannot be named to protect the identities of the girls.

When the child abuse allegations surfaced church leaders intervened and allegedly found child pornography on his computer. He was arrested three days later.

His wife, who re-married him two years ago, said her daughters were going for counselling in Pietermaritzburg to cope with the trauma.

“The girls are writing exams and I think if he is out on bail this will make them feel threatened.” She alleged that the accused had a violent temper. When asked why she had not told friends, she replied that she had confided in her family. She told the court she did not want her marriage to continue and that before the incident they had been undergoing marriage counselling.

She said she had not noticed anything wrong with her daughters’ behaviour, except that they were always getting into trouble.

She said: “I didn’t understand what the cause of it was. When I asked them how often he did it, they said, ‘Daily, Mommy’.”

The accused sat in the dock shaking his head while his wife stared angrily at him. Prosecutor Bongumusa Nduli asked police investigating officer Constable Mqedane if she had investigated the alternative address the accused had furnished the court in support of his bail application. The accused had said he would be able to stay with his sister in Sundra, Mpumalanga.

The investigating officer confirmed that she had gone to the address he had supplied and had found his sister’s mother- and father-in-law living there, and she saw no children.

The accused allegedly molested his own daughter, who was 17 at the time of the incident in 2009, and his step-daughter, who was 13.

The family lived at the Glenhaven campsite, owned by Scripture Union SA. The incident has shocked the small, conservative farming communities of Himeville and Underberg.

An elderly man in the public gallery was reading a pamphlet on “How to spot a paedophile”, while a small group outside the court came to support the man’s wife.

Magistrate J.F. Schmidt postponed the bail ruling until Monday.

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