Victim’s daughter talks about ordeal

2015-02-17 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG woman has paid tribute to her elderly mother’s courage after she had been raped.

“My mom is a very strong and courageous lady and I love her very much. She is an inspiration to me.”

Her mother was brutally assaulted, stabbed and raped a month short of her 75th birthday in 2012.

“It was a very emotional time for us as we had to deal with the anger, shock, worry and fear, but I was also very grateful that God had spared her life and that God has given my mom the strength to carry on … It has been a long and difficult road for us,” she also said.

These thoughts are contained in a victim impact statement handed to high court Judge Anton van Zyl by state advocate Candy Kander ­yesterday.

The victim’s daughter said after the attack her mother had to work hard to regain her independence. She had been afraid to leave her alone.

Earlier the judge found Mduduzi Phenyane (33) of Westgate guilty of robbery with aggravating circumstances, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and rape of the elderly widow.

He attacked the victim inside her bedroom in a granny flat adjoining her daughter’s house in Bisley on ­August 25, 2012.

She emerged from her bathroom to find him standing naked, waiting for her. He tried to strangle her, threw her to the floor and used a condom while raping her.

He also repeatedly kicked and hit and punched her and stabbed her with a pair of scissors he found in the room, while threatening her ­whenever she moved.

The judge accepted that the victim correctly identified Phenyane as her assailant. He said she had been face to face with him during the attack, and had ample time to observe him as he moved around her room ­examining her things before taking what he wanted.

She also testified she recognised him as the same man she’d found in her flat a short while before the ­incident and “chased away” after he asked her for work.

Judge van Zyl said it was possible Phenyane had decided to return to get revenge. This was borne out by the fact he appeared to know the layout of the granny flat and who occupied it, as well as the fact that he seemed to want to “torment” the victim.

Judge van Zyl convicted Phenyane in terms of legislation that provides for a minimum sentence of life imprisonment for rape accompanied by the infliction of grievous bodily harm, or rape of a disabled or vulnerable person. “Loss of agility and resilience is also a physical disability and renders a victim vulnerable,” he said.

The case was postponed to ­tomorrow for submissions on ­suitable sentences.

The court was told that Phenyane is disputing the state’s record of his alleged previous convictions.

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