- An HIV-positive Eastern Cape man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for raping his minor stepdaughter over a period of 10 years.
- The rapes started in 2008 when the then-11-year-old moved with her mother and stepfather to Komani.
- While she was training as a police officer, she confided about the trauma caused by her stepfather.
An HIV-positive Eastern Cape man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for raping his minor stepdaughter over a period of 10 years and infecting her with the virus.
The rapes started in 2008 when the then-11-year-old moved with her mother and stepfather to Komani.
The sexual attacks would happen every time the mother would attend church and leave the two together, said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani.
She said the stepfather started by inserting his fingers inside the little girl in 2008, before moving to penetrative rape in 2014, which was when he discovered that she had a boyfriend.
"This angered him so much that he took the girl to a clinic for family planning and then started raping her a week later while the mother was at church," said Ngcakani.
"The rapes then snowballed. During the 2015 December holidays, when the mother left to visit family in Port Elizabeth, he raped her until her mother returned in January 2016. He continued to rape her regularly until 2018, when the victim moved out of the family home to undergo training at a police training college. The rapes occurred on a few occasions when she visited," said Ngcakani.
Element of planning
She added that, while the victim visited during September 2018, the stepfather discovered a photo of her boyfriend on her phone.
"He then took her to a forest where he assaulted her with fists and a piece of wood. He continued to assault her even later on in the day. As a result, she sustained a fractured wrist and bruising over her lower body."
The victim broke her silence at the police training college by confiding to a police officer about the rapes and assaults.
When advocate Sakhumzi Mtsila argued for the stepfather to be sentenced to life imprisonment, he stressed that an element of planning could be discerned from his actions, said Ngcakani.
"In most incidents, he would make sure that he was alone with the complainant and raped her. He was the stepfather of the complainant with whom he created a good relationship and distanced her from her mother, therefore the complainant trusted him and he abused and destroyed that trust. The complainant regarded him as her own father. The accused abused the complainant for 10 years," said Mtsila.
The Eastern Cape High Court in Makhanda sentenced him to life imprisonment for rape, 10 years imprisonment for attempted murder as he had raped the girl while he knew that he was HIV-positive, five years imprisonment for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and 12 months for assault.
His application for leave to appeal the sentence of life imprisonment was refused.
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