A Soweto mother whose 12-year-old daughter was raped and impregnated, allegedly by her grandfather, decided to keep the baby, saying it was a gift and a blessing from God. The woman’s grandson is now 2 years old and currently lives in a place of safety in Soweto. Picture: Sibongile Mashaba
Johannesburg - When Nombuso* was 12, she was raped and impregnated, allegedly by her grandfather.

The ordeal happened in October 2014 while her mother, Busisiwe*, was hospitalised in Limpopo after a taxi accident, where she stayed several months. When she returned home to Motsoaledi Informal Settlement in Diepkloof, Soweto, her eldest daughter had died of meningitis. Nombuso was carrying her 66-year-old grandfather’s child, and her husband had disappeared.

“My daughter is skinny and when her tummy started showing, she was already eight months pregnant. I remember the day when I found out She was dishing up food on a Sunday and I saw her big tummy. I asked if she was pregnant and she said yes.

“I asked who had impregnated her and she said it was her grandfather. She said he had slept with her on several occasions,” Busisiwe said.

She told The Star that she had decided to keep the boy born on July 16.

Reflecting on the time she made the decision to keep her now 2-year-old grandson, Busisiwe said it was not a difficult one.

“After she revealed that her grandfather raped her, I took her to the clinic to ensure that she and the baby were perfectly fine. I then reported the matter to the police.

“Doctors asked what I wanted to do with the baby. I told them I wanted my child to keep it.

“My daughter understands what has happened to her and that her son was born of rape. We cannot change that. I have seen the way she looks at him. They have a special bond. Counselling also helped her accept her son,” Busisiwe said.

She said her grandson, who was currently living in a place of safety in the township, was an innocent participant.

“I love him. He does not know anything (about his mother’s rape) and he is a gift and a blessing from God.”

Busisiwe said her daughter missed her son when he was not around.

“I fetch him from the centre on school holidays and they play together. They have a special bond and she is overprotective of him.

“When he is old enough to understand how he was conceived, I will involve social workers and psychologists so that we can tell him.

“I do not want him to hear it from someone else. It could affect him badly. All I want him to know is that we love him and being born of rape does not change anything. If he accepts himself, other people will accept him as well,” she said.

Busisiwe said she had approached the courts to have her grandson released into her care but was waiting the outcome.

“I will raise him with the money I make from selling snacks. He is my grandson and I want him to come live with me and his mother,” she said.

The grandfather, who is a traditional healer, was denied bail and is expected to appear in the Protea Magistrate’s Court next month.

The Teddy Bear Clinic director, Shaheda Omar, said no research had been done on babies born from rape.

She said the clinic was currently dealing with a case of a 12-year-old from the West Rand who was also raped and impregnated. The girl gave birth a few months ago.

“She wanted to abort the baby but she was past the abortion period. She was forced to carry the baby full-term. She brings her child to court for her counselling sessions.

“Supportive measures have been put in place to help her,” Omar said.

She said the teenager, also from Soweto, and her mother would have to continue receiving counselling.

“There could be a huge resentment of the child (later in life). Counselling will help deal with those feelings. She needs continued intensive therapy,” said Omar, adding that in adoptive cases, children always want to know who their biological parents were once they were told that the ones who raised them did not bear them.

(* not their real names)

The Star