Two men in Mpumalanga are facing charges of raping their daughters, police said on Wednesday.
One of the accused fathers is a 35-year-old man from Balfour, who appeared before the Balfour Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for allegedly raping his step-daughter, aged eight.
The case against the man was postponed to January 18 for legal representation, according to Mpumalanga provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli.
“For now, the suspect remains in custody,” he said.
“According to a report, the mother of the victim, who is also the spouse to the suspect, discovered this shocking news on Sunday, January 14 after noticing her companion with the minor's underwear. It is said that she confronted him about it, of which he denied any wrongdoing.”
The girl's mother became gravely concerned and immediately approached the eight-year-old girl, who opened up, telling of the “atrocities” allegedly committed by the stepfather.
The traumatic experience for the little girl is believed to have started last year.
“The matter was reported to the police, and a team of SAPS (SA Police Service) members from the family violence, child protection and sexual offences (FCS) unit responded swiftly on the same day it was reported, hence the suspect was arrested and charged for raping a minor,” said Mdhluli.
In the second case, a 42-year-old man from Bethal allegedly raped his 13-year-old biological daughter.
The 42-year-old is set to return to the Bethal Magistrate’s Court on Friday where he is expected to submit a formal bail application.
The accused man previously appeared in court on Tuesday last week.
“His court appearance came after his arrest by the family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit. It is further alleged that the victim was sexually victimised by the suspect during September 2023,” said Mdluli.
“Reports indicate that on January 4, it was discovered that the girl is pregnant. Thereafter, the suspect apparently threatened to kill the victim if she revealed to anyone about what has happened between them.”
It is also alleged that the 42-year-old man also offered the teenage girl money to buy her silence.
“Later that day, the stepmother approached the victim to ask her about the pregnancy and that is when she broke her silence and (revealed that) her father is the suspect,” said Mdhluli.
“The brave stepmother reportedly informed the girl's biological mother, then the matter was eventually reported to the police. The case was assigned to the FCS unit which conducted the investigation.”
The rape suspect was then arrested and charged with rape on Monday last week.
Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has saluted the bravery of the two women who reported the abuse of vulnerable girls.
She said South Africa needed more such parents who don’t look away.
“We really need mothers that will blow the whistle and not tolerate such types of crime in the name of love at the expense of innocent children,” said Manamela.
Last year, the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg sentenced a 40-year-old Zimbabwean rapist to life imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to raping his 17-year-old biological daughter.
The father, whose name is withheld to protect the victim, raped the teenage girl for the first time in May 2022, and the ordeal continued into 2023.
At the time, Gauteng spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Phindi Mjonondwane, said the man called his daughter, who was based in Zimbabwe, to come to South Africa to assist her aunt, who had a newborn baby.