Health issues lead to delay in start of trial for Verulam father accused of keeping stepdaughter as sex slave
Durban - THE start of trial against a Verulam man accused of keeping his stepdaughter confined in their home as a sex slave has been delayed due to an illness related to diabetes.
The date was finalised during a pre-trial conference, in the Durban High Court last November, but had been since delayed due to Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions.
During proceedings, it emerged that the defence viewed the State’s video evidence. This was after a back and forth battle with the State to hand over a copy of the footage.
The accused allegedly repeatedly raped his now 12-year-old stepdaughter after her mother died. It is further alleged that he used her as a sex slave.
The 46-year old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child victim was expected to appear in the Durban High Court yesterday for the start of trial but prison authorities did not bring him to court because he was not well.
Apparently he had not taken his medication for the past two days and had indicated to his lawyer yesterday that he was not well during the pre-trial conference in preparation for the trial to start today.
The court adjourned the matter to tomorrow for the state to be provided with a copy of the doctor's report in order for the court to know the diagnosis and decide on the way forward.
It will then be decided if another court date should be set.
Judge Mohini Moodley said she had not noticed anything wrong with him (the accused) yesterday during the pre-trial conference,.
"It is important to know before Monday what the diagnosis is before we decide a way forward and how we will proceed with the matter. We will wait for the doctor's medical report.
"If it's about him not getting his insulin, then the doctor will have to make a note for the prison authorities to ensure that he takes his insulin,“ Moodley said.
He was arrested in June 2018, after the members of the public assaulted him following the news of what he was doing to his step daughter.
According to State indictments, the mother of the girl lived with the man as his wife for about two years in Verulam before dying in April 2014.
Although the girl’s maternal family attempted to gain custody of her when she was 6 years old, he refused.