Child-rape accused vindicated as DNA evidence proves his innocence

2013-08-28 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG man cleared of raping a six-year-old child, yesterday told of his 10-month ordeal.

The charges against the 45-year-old man, who cannot be named because this could help identify the child, were withdrawn in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court after DNA evidence excluded him as a suspect in the rape.

He said for the past 10 months since the allegations surfaced he had lived in fear of his life, faced death threats, almost lost his marriage, had to live with scornful looks from neighbours as well as the humiliation of being labelled a rapist.

He told The Witness that on the day of the incident in November last year, he had been at his house drinking.

“Children were playing outside the house when I called the six-year-old to change her clothing as she was wet because they were playing with water. I gave her my daughter’s clothes to wear and they continued playing outside,” he said.

He said he was later accused of raping the child.

“This shocked me as I treated the child like my own, as any parent would have done … I was arrested and everything changed in my life.”

He said people had threatened to kill him, saying he had raped the child.

“I had to move away from my home after I was granted bail and my wife wanted to divorce me as she was also not sure what had happened on the day. She feared that I was going to rape our nine-year-old,” said the man.

He said he had been too embarrassed to attend church as people were judging him before the case had been finalised.

“I am not a rapist. They should accept that as a fact. The court vindicated me. I will have to focus on bonding with my family. This has put me through much pain and my family has taken strain,” he said.

He added that the incident had affected his entire family; children had teased his daughter at school saying that she was the child of a “rapist”.

“She is happy now that this is over, even though she asks if police will ever come again to arrest me.”

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan confirmed that charges had been withdrawn as DNA results did not link the suspect to the crime.

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