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Mpumalanga - A witness from Mpumalanga testified on Tuesday how she caught a man sexually abusing her five-year-old sister in 2010.

The woman, 18, from KaMhlushwa near Komatipoort, was testifying in the trial of a 46-year-old man in the Nelspruit regional court, a Sapa correspondent reported.

“(He) first came to our home and asked my little sister to accompany him to do washing at the local dam. After I refused, I was called by my uncle and that was when he disappeared with her,” testified the sister, who may not be named to protect the identity of the victim.

The teenager told the court she had earlier asked the accused why he wanted her younger sister to accompany him to do his washing.

“When I asked him why, he replied he wanted some company and said I should go with him instead, but I refused,” she said.

She said when her uncle was talking to her about sending her to KwaMdladla to deliver some money, the accused then disappeared with the little girl.

She said she then asked her uncle to allow her to postpone the trip so she could go and look for her younger sister.

“I followed their direction and found him lying face up on the ground next to the dam, with my little sister placed on top of him. She was screaming in agony,” she said.

The teenager told the court that the accused continued abusing her little sister.

“Shocked at what I was seeing, I called my little sister by name and he threw her to the side.”

She grabbed her younger sister and they headed home, where she reported the incident to older people.

“The older people took the child to the local hospital to be examined by a doctor,” she testified.

Legal Aid defence lawyer PBS Ziyane asked the court to find the accused not guilty as medical test results showed that no penetration actually took place.

“There is no substantial evidence the rape did occur. No injuries on the victim were recorded and even the state witness never saw the accused's private parts when he (accused) threw her to the side,” said Ziyane.

State prosecutor Elize du Plessis said the accused should be found guilty of attempted rape.

“It is quite clear the witness stopped what could have been a very serious rape incident on the child. It is possible that he was disturbed by the witness before penetration took place,” said Du Plessis.

Du Plessis asked for the accused to take the stand in order to be cross-examined.

Magistrate Andre Geldenhuys postponed the case to June 3.

The accused is out on a warning. - Sapa