Mpumalanga police have welcomed the sentence meted out against a man who raped his stepdaughter when she was just 7 years old.
A life term was ordered for the 31-year-old man by the Mhala Regional Court on Tuesday. The rape occurred in 2018, in a village near Bushbuckridge.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the court heard how the victim was asleep when her stepfather arrived home on February 22 2018.
“He ordered his 4-year-old stepdaughter to stand at the door and stand guard for his wife.
“The ordeal was later uncovered by neighbours when they noticed the girl limping, as she was walking back home from school.
“They became worried and asked her what was wrong, at which she disclosed what had happened. The neighbours then informed her mother, however, she dismissed them. The neighbours took it upon themselves to report the matter to the police.”
The man was arrested the next day and released on R1,000 bail while the two girls were relocated to a place of safety.
During sentencing, magistrate Annemarie Theron indicated that the suspect showed no remorse and still denied what he had done to the child. She also read parts of the social workers’ report, which revealed that the victim now suffers from urinary incontinence as a result of the rape.
In addition to the life sentence, Theron declared him unfit to possess a firearm and ordered that his name be entered in the national register for sex offenders.
The provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, commended the department of justice, NPA and the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit in ensuring that overwhelming evidence was brought against the accused, which led to the maximum sentence.
Gen Zuma thanked the community for reporting the crime to the police.
“In welcoming the sentence, I feel delighted that another rapist has been removed from society and that the sentencing will send a strong message to gender-based violence perpetrators,” said Zuma.
TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)