Durban — The life sentence handed to a man found guilty of raping his niece for eight years has been welcomed by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development.
The 44-year-old man was recently handed a life sentence by the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court, he had been raping his niece since she was 6 years old.
He was also found guilty of the attempted murder of his son, whom he strangled after the son reported to the family that he had found the uncle raping the girl, who was 14 years old by then.
The court sentenced him to 12 months for the attempted murder of his son.
Magistrate Siphiwe Hlophe ruled that both sentences were to run concurrently.
Social Development spokesperson Mhlaba Memela said the department welcomed the stiff sentence handed to the perpetrator.
“We find solace that such a perpetrator was given life imprisonment for his inhuman act of violating a child, as well as the further 12 months handed to him for the attempted murder.
“It will take a lot of time for the children to normalise what has happened in their lives. We want to encourage the family to come forward and seek assistance from social workers in order to provide psycho-social support to the victims of this heartless criminal,” he said.
Memela added that the department was also encouraged by the position of the family to prioritise their children’s rights and not sweep such an unspeakable incident under the carpet.
“We also applauded the law enforcement agencies for ensuring that such a conviction is secured to send the perpetrator to prison,” said Memela.
During the trial, State prosecutor Simphiwe Dube presented to the court evidence through witnesses detailing how the accused was caught by his son in the act while raping the girl in 2019.
The accused lived with his mother, niece and son in the Molweni area.
The court heard that on the day the accused’s son caught his father in the act, his grandmother had gone out shopping, and on catching his father, he ran to the home of the grandmother’s sister, which was close by.
While the sister was on the phone with the accused’s mother reporting what the boy had told her, the accused stormed into the house and began strangling his son and shouting why had he told the elders what he had seen.
Evidence led by a doctor in the trial was that the boy had nail marks on his neck consistent with the fact that he had been strangled.
The accused, who was represented by attorney Manoj Harripersad, had pleaded not guilty to the rape and attempted murder.
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