Rapist father gets two life sentences

Henry

Warning: This post contains information that may upset some readers.

The Pretoria High Court has sentenced a 32-year-old man from Olievenhoutbosch to two life sentences for the rape and attempted murder of his 11-month-old baby daughter.

He was sentenced to a further two years for defeating the law, while the court also ordered that his name be entered in the national register for sex offenders.

According to Lumka Mahanjana, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, the incident took place on 30 April last year when the baby’s mother left her in the convict’s care to help her neighbor cook.

In the early hours of the morning, however, the mother spotted the man – with whom she was in a relationship at that stage – alone in the street. She asked him where the baby was, and he indicated the child was sleeping.

“They walked back to the house together where the mother found the baby on her chest. When the mother touched the baby to change her diaper, the little girl started to cry.

“While the mother was changing the diaper, she noticed that the little girl’s genitals were swollen. There was also semen on her diaper,” says Mahanjana.

The mother wanted to take the child to a clinic immediately, but the father insisted that they instead go to a traditional healer near their home.

“However, during the consultation with the traditional healer, the father admitted that he had raped the child.”

Mahanjana says the traditional healer advised the couple at this stage to seek medical assistance instead. At home, however, the man threatened the mother with a knife when she wanted to take the baby to a clinic.

He was apparently afraid that the community would find out what had happened.

The mother took the child the next day – without the father’s knowledge – to a clinic in Venda. A case was filed shortly afterwards with the police in Pretoria. The father was arrested on May 4 and has been in custody since then.

The court found him guilty on charges of rape and attempted murder, and complied with the state’s request to impose the maximum sentence on him. Adv. Vongani Khosa, the public prosecutor, argued in court that the baby was supposed to be able to trust her father. However, he broke that trust, Khosa told the court.

The state also argued that the father had shown no remorse for his actions.

Judge Papi Masopa said during the verdict that rape is a major crisis in South Africa, especially the rape of minor, defenseless children.