Pretoria – The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a 36-year-old stepfather (identified only as Mr X to protect the abused child) from Hercules in Pretoria West, to one life term for raping his 9-year-old stepdaughter.
National Prosecution Authority (NPA) Gauteng regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said the lengthy sentenced came after Magistrate Johanna Mthimunye convicted him of rape on 13 April.
“On Sunday 5 January 2019, the minor and her mother had gone to church. During the service a pastor of the church prophesied that the child had been sexually assaulted by a 33-year-old male when she was 9-years-old,” Mahanjana said.
“After church, on their way home, the child confessed to the mother that indeed the stepfather had been sexually assaulting her over a period of a year when the mother had gone to work at night and she was left in his care.”
The mother confronted Mr X about the allegations made by the child but he denied.
The following morning, both the mother and Mr X took the child to a doctor at Laudium Hospital where the child was examined, and it was discovered that indeed the child had been sexually assaulted.
“After the child spoke to the social workers, police were called and Mr X was arrested at the hospital. He has been in custody since the NPA successfully opposed bail,” Mahanjana said.
In court Mr X pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.
Prosecutor Tumi Pongola, told the court that rape is a scourge that is prevalent in South African society, is degrading and humiliating, especially on vulnerable children.
She asked the court to take into consideration the seriousness of the offence and the interest of society when imposing a sentence, “because Mr X took advantage of a 9-year-old girl and threatened her life if she reported the rape”.
In delivering her sentence Magistrate Mthimunye agreed with the State, that Mr X took advantage of a child who regarded him as a father and that “he deserves no other sentence but that of life imprisonment”.
Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi has commended the assistance of the pastor and community leaders for their contribution in ensuring justice for the molested child.
“This is a very good example that reflects the role of all members of society to protect children from harm,” Mzinyathi said.
He congratulated the police for their investigation and the “outstanding work of the prosecutor” in fighting for justice for the child and her family.