Rape appeal fails

2010-11-12 00:00

HIGH Court judges in Pietermaritzburg have dismissed an appeal by a 56-year-old Durban man against his conviction and sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, half suspended, for raping his granddaughter in 2009.

Medical findings supported the 10-year-old girl’s claim that she had been sexually abused, and the trial court ruled she had been a “very good witness”.

Her grandfather, who admitted they were close, could offer no explanation why she would fabricate the story, the trial magistrate found.

The rape occurred in the Montclair district in March 2009.

However, according to the court record,the victim told her teacher and also gave evidence at the trial that sexual “stuff” with her grandfather had happened from the time she was “very small” in grade 1.

At the time of the rape she was living with her grandfather and his second wife.

She was subsequently removed from his custody, but in her evidence said that even after the rape she chose to live with her grandfather as she loved him very much. She believed he had changed and that she was safe with him.

According to the court record the child gave evidence via an intermediary in the Durban Regional Court.

She testified that on the day in question, when she was in grade 4, her grandfather had fetched her from school.

Normally she would eat and play or watch television. But on that day he placed her on a bed, put his tongue in her ear and started kissing her. He then undressed and raped her.

The child said she had tried to fight him off and he clasped her wrists in his hand and held them above her head.

She had pushed against him and shouted that she wanted to watch television.

Afterwards, when he left, saying he was going to shower, the child got up, pulled on her clothes and walked away quickly. A teacher testified that the girl had approached her at school. Crying and upset, she’d reported that her grandfather had been “touching” her, and said it had gone on since grade 1. The teacher reported the matter.

Judge Gregory Kruger with Acting Judge Johan Ploos van Amstel confirmed the accused’s conviction and sentence.

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