Step­fa­ther up on rape charges

The Rep - - FRONT PAGE - SIMTEMBILE MGIDI

A Ko­mani step­fa­ther is in court on charges of the al­leged rape of his step­daugh­ter over a decade from the ages of 11 to 21.

Judg­ment on the grant­ing of bail at the Queen­stown Mag­is­trate’s Court was post­poned to No­vem­ber 12 by mag­is­trate Gan­nasen Narayam­say this week.

Narayam­say al­lowed the South African Po­lice Ser­vices (SAPS) spe­cialised unit for fam­ily vi­o­lence, child pro­tec­tion and sex­ual of­fences (FCS) in­ves­tiga­tive of­fi­cer Ndileka Bhokolo time to ver­ify the al­ter­na­tive ad­dress of the ac­cused if he is granted bail.

State pros­e­cu­tor Kungeka Tshaka called to the dock Bhokolo who said the ac­cused was fac­ing a count of rape and an­other of as­sault with in­tent to cause griev­ous bod­ily harm.

The al­leged rapes had started in Septem­ber 2008 and con­tin­ued un­til 2018.

Bhokolo said the step­fa­ther had al­legedly taken the then teenage girl to the clinic when she was 17, ask­ing for her to be put on con­tra­cep­tives as she was sex­u­ally ac­tive.

She said the vic­tim had not been al­lowed to play with other chil­dren or to take part in group as­sign­ments at school.

In­stead, Bhokolo said, the woman had in­di­cated that her step­fa­ther would meet her on her way home and take her to a shack where he would rape her.

She was not al­lowed to walk alone to the shop ei­ther and when she re­fused to com­ply with his de­mands, she was al­legedly told that she and her un­em­ployed mother would be left home­less.

The young girl even­tu­ally grew up and went to the po­lice col­lege for train­ing. Her or­deal was not yet over, Bhokolo said, as her step­fa­ther would take her bank card, say­ing he had paid for her ed­u­ca­tion and giv­ing her only R200 a month.

When she re­turned for her week­end off from col­lege, her phone was al­legedly searched and ques­tions asked about a photo of a man.

“He claimed she was hav­ing an af­fair. He said they were go­ing to ex­er­cise in the open veld and he hit her with a thorn branch. He broke her arm and when they got home – he said she fell. He threat­ened not to al­low her to re­turn to col­lege and hit her again in a quiet area near Nonesi Mall.”

Bhokolo said the man had al­legedly not used a con­dom and he was on anti-retro­vi­ral treat­ment for some­one who was HIV-pos­i­tive.

“The vic­tim is trau­ma­tised. She said she does not see any life ahead and is think­ing of killing her­self.

“Her mother is trau­ma­tised to a great ex­tent, as are the neigh­bours. They sus­pected there was some­thing go­ing on be­cause the child was not al­lowed to play with other chil­dren,” Bhokolo said.

She called for bail to be re­fused and said the ac­cused had not pro­vided an al­ter­na­tive ad­dress which mean that he would be re­turn­ing to the woman’s home.

Bhokolo said a J88 form could be pro­vided to show abuse and in­juries sus­tained by the woman.

De­fence at­tor­ney pro­vided by Le­gal Aid South Africa No­mawethu Mu­cavele said her client was charged with a sched­ule six of­fence and that he had ap­plied for bail as he had to sup­port five chil­dren.

“He works for the South African De­fence Force and in­tends to plead not guilty.”

In Mu­cavele’s cross-ex­am­i­na­tion of Bhokolo, she asked the po­lice­woman if she had a state­ment from an­other per­son to whom the woman had told her story, which Bhokolo con­firmed.

She said Bhokolo had no ev­i­dence that the ac­cused would flee and that he had no pre­vi­ous crim­i­nal record.

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