The Madadeni Regional Court has sentenced a 54-year-old man to two terms of life imprisonment for the rape of his niece in 2019 and 2020. The girl, who was 11 years old at the time, and her family lived in a communal homestead along with other family members. The man raped her when there were no adults around. On the first occasion he raped her when she went to use the outside toilet. Her sister found them in the toilet and the child who did not realise that she was raped, told her sister that their uncle was trying to rape her. They reported the incident to their mother and the uncle apologised saying that he was intoxicated. They did not involve the police.

Then in 2020, the man called the girl into his room and raped her again. She reported the incident to her brother and they then told their mother. The girl was taken to the Thuthuzela Care Centre at Madadeni Hospital where she received psycho-social and medical assistance. Upon examination, the doctor was able to confirm the recent rape and he also advised that she was previously raped due to the old scars.

In court the uncle pleaded not guilty, saying that the girl’s mother wanted him to move out of the homestead and had thus told the child to implicate him. The state, represented by Regional Court Prosecutor Khethiwe Kunene led the testimonies of the girl, her siblings, their mother and the medical doctor. The state’s case was further enhanced by a Victim Impact Statement compiled by the girl and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer Masande Mdiya. In her statement the girl said that the incident has left her with psychological, physical and emotional scars. It has also caused a division amongst their family members. She said that the stigma that comes with being a rape victim has left her feeling unworthy and lacking in confidence amongst her peers.

In sentencing the man, the court also declared him unfit to possess a firearm. He was further deemed incompetent to work with children.

The National Prosecuting Authority welcomes the successful finalisation of this matter. We encourage parents to be vigilant and report matters to the police. We commend the work done by the prosecution and SAPS.

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