A 62-year-old man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape of his foster child over a period of 10 years.
The convicted child rapist, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, lived with his wife and four other foster children, and was sentenced in the Khayelitsha Regional Court this week.
The State alleged that he sexually abused and raped the victim from the age of 7 until she reported her ordeal to a social worker at the age of 17.
The orphaned victim had been sent to several homes before she was placed with the accused and his wife.
State prosecutor, Ilana Bester, told the court: “As she grew older, she was tasked with taking his meals to his workplace or bringing him his raincoat if it was raining.
“She was the only sibling tasked with this and it created animosity as other siblings felt he favoured her until she informed them, at the age of 11, that he instructed her to get into his bed and have sex with her.
“She testified that the only time she would get a ‘break' was when family members of the accused from the Eastern Cape visited,” Bester told the court.
“The rapes happened three to four times a week, and she also had to cook for the accused. She felt nobody believed her and out of fear she just did as she was told.”
At the age of 17, she approached a social worker allocated to her and disclosed what had been happening to her for 10 years.
Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Nicolette Bell, lauded the role played by the prosecution and investigating team.
“Our Child Protection Officers are behind-the-scenes officials who play the most crucial role in empowering victims, helping them claim their lives, their dignity, face their abusers head on and assisting to secure sentences fitting the crimes.
“I also want to call on parents, teachers, and community members to listen and believe reports of abuse from our children. They have no reason to lie about their abuses unless they are influenced by adults,” she appealed.