A woman, 36, and her husband, 49, have been charged with the rape of teenage girls who were allegedly forced to sleep with the man in exchange for food. File Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)
A woman, 36, and her husband, 49, have been charged with the rape of teenage girls who were allegedly forced to sleep with the man in exchange for food. File Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

Wife accused of forcing minor relatives to sleep with husband in exchange for food

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Apr 29, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG – A 36-year-old woman and her husband, 49, have been charged with the rape of teenage girls who were allegedly forced to sleep with the man in exchange for food.

The children, who are cousins, were allegedly brought from Mozambique illegally by the woman who is their aunt.

The man, who is a director in one of the municipalities in Gauteng, has allegedly been raping the children since they came to South Africa.

The couple was arrested last week after the children, 13 years old and 15 years old, managed to escape. However, the man was also slapped with an additional charge of rape after another child came forward and reported that the man had raped her in 2014.

Colonel Donald Mdhluli of the Mpumalanga Police said allegations were that the woman lured the two girls from Mozambique by promising them better education in South Africa.

When they arrived in the country, they were allegedly subjected to rape and gross human violations, Mdhluli said.

“According to allegations, the girls were literally kept as slaves by their own aunt and uncle in a house at Shatale near Bushbuckridge, which was supposed to be a warm home for them.

“It is alleged that the aunt of the victims, forced them to have sexual intercourse with her husband in exchange for meals.

“The sequence of events indicate that their aunt would often change the girls each at the time to sleep with her husband. She would allegedly often excuse herself from the bedroom and when the girls refused to obey, they would be severely assaulted and starved.

“When the elder girl narrated the ordeal, she said one night she hid herself inside a wardrobe out of fear and for those few hours, she was at least safe. However her freedom was short-lived as in the next morning, she was severely assaulted and sadly no one came to her rescue.

“The girls also alleged that other members of the family back in Mozambique were not aware of their ordeal. Their aunt is said to have ensured that each call made between the victims and their family at home in Mozambique was personally monitored by her as she sat closely to hear all the conversations.”

On Friday, April 23, the couple left the house for a while and that was when the children escaped.

Mdhluli said they reported their ordeal to a Good Samaritan who in turn alerted police.

It was also found that the children were brought into South Africa without proper documentation leading to the couple being slapped with additional charges.

They were charged with the Contravention of the Immigration Act, human trafficking as well as conspiracy to commit crime.

The children have since been taken to a place of safety.

Mdhluli said the man also faces an additional charge or rape after a 14-year-old girl reported that the man, who is her neighbour also raped her 2014.

The victim, who was 7 years old at the time of the alleged rape, said she was playing with the suspect’s niece when he sent the other girl to the shop.

The victim told police that the suspect took her to his room where he took off her clothes and raped her then threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

“The victim also indicated that she was living in fear ever since the ordeal happened and when she heard that the suspect was arrested last Friday for allegations of rape, she eventually had the courage to break the silence and reported the matter to police.

“In collaboration with the Department of Social Development, the girl was removed to a place of safety after a thorough assessment was made at the place where she resided,” Mdhluli said.

The couple was expected to apply for bail on Thursday.

IOL

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