Dad freed 10 years after false rape claim
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Durban - A father who spent 10 years behind bars after being accused of rape by his eight-year-old daughter was released from Westville Prison on Wednesday after his daughter admitted she had lied.
Cedric Shezi, 41, said he forgave his daughter, Pinky Dube, who owned up three years ago when the lie became too much to bear.
“She was very young at the time and she did what her mother told her,” Shezi said.
Dube claimed her mother, who died in 2007, coached her to lie to have her father sent to prison.
“I am glad the truth is out. I was in jail for a long time and life was extremely hard.
“The courts do not do people any justice - a lot of people are in jail, serving time for crimes they did not commit.
“I was harassed in jail. I had to join gangs in order to survive.”
Shezi was given a life sentence of 20 years but always maintained his innocence.
On Wednesday Dube, 18, said she was haunted by her testimony and had eventually told her teachers and social workers what she had done.
The Justice for Prisoners and Detainees Trust, which acted for Shezi, had a Supreme Court of Appeal recently grant him leave to have his conviction and sentence reviewed.
He is out on R1 000 bail pending the review. His scheduled release from prison last week was delayed when a court clerk issued the wrong documents.
On Wednesday, Shezi was dropped off at a petrol station by a Correctional Services car.
His relatives and friends hugged and kissed, but he became emotional when he saw his daughter, and the two shared an awkward hug.
“I am not even sure how to rebuild my life,” he said as he kissed his two-year-old grandson, Sibusiso.
When asked if she had anything to say to her father, Dube replied: “I am glad to see him. I hope he forgives me.”
She burst into tears and a relative took her away.
Shezi’s attorney, Lindokuhle Mdletshe, said they were planning a lawsuit against the State.