A teenager from Verulam suffered repeated rapes by her stepfather despite the mother knowing about it. Picture: AP
Durban - A couple faced justice in the Verulam Regional Court when a 53-year-old stepfather was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, while the mother got five years wholly suspended regarding the rape of the woman’s daughter.
In a statement, police spokeswoman Captain Nqobile Gwala said in 2012, the 15-year-old victim was staying with her mother and stepfather in Verulam informal settlement when she was raped several times by her stepfather while her mother was at work.
“The stepfather threatened to kill the victim if she reported the matter. The abuse went on and when the victim informed her mother who confronted the stepfather, he became violent and aggressive,” said Gwala.
The rapes continued and the stepfather bought the victim expensive gifts to try to keep her silence.
However, during a visit to their family home in Ixopo the victim was confronted by her uncle who had noticed that the victim was the only child with expensive clothing and a fancy cellphone, and questioned her.

“The victim then informed her uncle of what was happening at their home and he then cautioned the victim’s mother to be vigilant.”
However, the mother continued to ignore the incident, the victim left home and reported the matter to her teacher. She was then removed to a place of safety.
Gwala said the matter was reported to the police on September 7, 2015 and both mother and the stepfather were arrested.
The victim’s mother was subsequently charged for failure to report the commission of a sexual act with a minor. An investigation by Phoenix Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit members led to the prosecution of the accused.
The KZN Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa commended the members for a job well done. "It was through excellent investigation, hard work and dedication that the accused was sentenced to life imprisonment,” he said.