‘My father stole my virginity’
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal - A 13-year-old KwaZulu-Natal girl, who was raped by her father after he became sexually aroused when he saw her in a swimming costume, wishes that he was dead.
The child expressed her feelings in a victim impact statement that was submitted to the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court on Tuesday in aggravation of sentence.
Her 39-year-old father, who cannot be named to protect his daughter’s identity, pleaded guilty last month to raping her several times since December, stopping only when he was arrested.
The teen said in her statement that she was glad her father was out of her life and that he could no longer hurt her.
“Every time I was alone with him, I was afraid, because I knew what was going to happen,” she said. “He was never there for me as a father should be. He used me.”
She said that she should have spoken out the first time he raped her, but that she was afraid.
“He stole my virginity. I was saving myself for marriage, but my father had to be a pig and mess up my life,” she said, adding that her father had threatened her with death if he ever caught her sleeping with another man. “It would be better if he was dead. I hate him and never want to see him again,” she said.
A victim impact statement was also submitted to the court on behalf of the girl’s mother, who said that she was “shocked and betrayed” by what her husband had done.
She said that she and her husband had been married for 14 years.
“Now I must make it on my own with my two daughters. Emotionally, I will never be the same again,” the mother said.
She explained that when her husband used to drink alcohol, he would become “angry and rude” and used to swear and scream at her and their daughters.
“I never knew what to expect from him. One day he was good and the next moment he would get angry. I always used to live in fear for me and my daughters.”
The woman said that following the rape, she has had to quit her job and relocate her children to Johannesburg, where she is seeking new employment. “My husband has left me with debt, but I am trying my best to pay it off.”
In his plea statement handed to the court last month, the man said he had seen his daughter in a bathing costume while they were swimming in December.
He told her to remove her costume and then began raping her, and when the child asked him what he was doing, he told her not to worry.
“I am truly remorseful for my actions and will take responsibility for my actions,” he told the court at the time.
He was arrested at a Pietermaritzburg hospital on March 6 after the police traced him through the tracking device on his vehicle.
The man had driven himself to hospital for treatment the day after his wife found him raping his daughter.
It is understood he sought medical attention for slashes to his wrists and throat. According to the charge sheet, the man was at home alone with his daughter while his wife had gone shopping.
She had returned earlier than expected, however, and found her husband with their daughter in the bathroom.
Sentencing has been adjourned to April 26 for a probation officer’s report.
The man was remanded in custody.
In a separate case, another Pietermaritzburg father appeared in court on Tuesday charged with the rape of his six-year-old daughter.
He had been expected to apply for bail, but the bail application was adjourned to April 18 for an alternative address to be verified by police.
It is alleged the 34-year-old Dambuza (near Pietermaritzburg) man went to pick up his daughter from her mother’s house for the child’s regular visit to his home.
It is alleged that when he returned with the girl later in the day, the mother noticed the child was struggling to walk.
When she questioned him, he allegedly fled without responding.
The little girl then told her mother her father had punched her and raped her on a bed.