Man gets life for raping niece, killing their son

2015-06-26 21:03


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Johannesburg - An East Rand man was sentenced to life plus two more sentences of 25 years each for raping his teenage niece, and murdering the child she gave birth to.

Handing down judgment at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court, Judge Delize Smith told the story of the five-year-old boy, and his orphaned mother kept as a sex slave by her own uncle.

The woman, who may not be named, was 14, and an orphan with no siblings. She lived with her grandmother, his mother, who she depended on solely.

Smith said the girl was still a virgin and did not know what love between a man and a woman should entail. Her uncle was in a position of trust, but instead, exerted so much pressure on her that she allowed him to do whatever he wanted with her.

''So basically she became your sex slave,'' Smith told the former taxi driver.

When she was 14 he made her pregnant. He is twice her age.

Thrown out onto the street

When her grandmother found out, she was thrown out onto the street with her clothes.

She was forced to stay with her uncle, and when she became pregnant by him, had to drop out of school. She became the laughing stock of the community, Smith said.

She had to cook, and clean, and wash clothes for him and did not have the life a child should have had.

Once she gave birth, the man's mother did not want to have anything to do with her. 

Over the years, the father beat the boy severely. He had broken ribs, a cracked skull and a broken arm, but was never taken to a doctor.

Smith said the man eventually took the child to a sangoma, after police warned him that the child needed help. The sangoma said the child's injuries were too serious for him to treat.

When the boy died, the man forced her to carry him, and dump his body.

The Star reported that his body lay unclaimed at the Germiston mortuary for two months. Only after the newspaper published a picture of him, and it was reported on the radio, did the boy's mother go the police.

Charges against her were withdrawn after she became a State witness. Smith said she could tell that her psychological scars had not healed.

When the man testified in mitigation of sentence, he begged the community and his niece for forgiveness.

'One of the most heinous acts'

However, he then said it was his niece's fault for moving in with him. He said he had tried to chase her away, that she did not listen, and that he was the victim.

''To murder your own child is also one of the most heinous acts,'' said Smith.

''He was 5. A child depends on parents for its love and security and he had suffered severely at your hands. You did nothing to secure his safety. You did nothing when he was injured. He received no medical attention in the short time that he was with you.

''His broken bones had to heal themselves. His injuries had to heal themselves. And what do you say? You say no, he was never seriously injured.''

He apologised for what he did to the child, but when questioned, said he only spanked the child when he was naughty.

Smith said he had claimed that his niece had slept around and the child was not his, but DNA tests proved otherwise.

Showed no remorse

He disappeared when he learned the police were looking for him, leaving the woman to fend for herself. He had earned R300 a week as a taxi driver.

Without any support, she had nothing.

Even though he spent a few months in jail after he was arrested, he showed no remorse.

The fact that he was the only one in the community prepared to take the girl in, was not enough to count in his favour.

He was sentenced to life for the murder of the child, and two sentences of 25 years each for rape.

There were two sentences for rape because of a change in law relating to rape at the time of the offences. One sentence related to legislation before the law was changed, and the second to the period afterwards.

Smith ordered that his name be entered into the sexual offences register, that a copy be sent to her, and that the victim be informed if he ever had a parole hearing.

Prosecutor Ntsika Mpolweni quietly left the court after successfully getting the man jailed. The woman was present for the judgment.   

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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