A Free State man,59, from Meqheleng near Ficksburg, is expected to appear before the local Magistrate’s Court today for the alleged rape of his niece, with whom he has a one-year-old toddler.
According to a SAPS statement, it's alleged that between December 2018 and March 2023, the suspect slept with his niece until he impregnated her a year ago at the age of 16.
“She finally reported the incident to her teachers, who also brought the matter to the police's attention on 11 September 2023, and he was arrested.
It's further alleged her uncle had been sleeping with her on several occasions before and after her pregnancy, and she gave birth to a one-year-old daughter as a result of being sexually abused,” added the statement.
The SAPS statement further said that she was afraid to report the matter because she is an orphan, and the uncle threatened her that he would chase her out to the street and ordered her to frame her boyfriend for the pregnancy.
“She was fearing for her life and that of her child for not reporting the matter. A case of rape was opened, and the suspect was arrested,” read the statement.
In an unrelated matter, a woman, 24, has appeared at the Kimberley District Court on charges of kidnapping and abduction of a four-day old infant at a hospital in Kimberley.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that the infant was taken from a hospital in Kimberley, in the Northern Cape.
“The matter was reported to the South African Police Services, and investigations were launched. The investigations led to the suspect being traced, and the baby was recovered on 8 September 2023,”said the NPA
The woman appeared in court and was formally charged with kidnapping and abduction of a child.
The NPA said the matter had been remanded to 19 September 2023 for a formal bail application.
“The prosecution will be opposing this bail application. The accused is remanded in custody until her next appearance in the Kimberley Magistrates’ Court. The investigations led by police are continuing in this matter,” added the NPA.
Meanwhile, AfriForum Private Prosecution Unit has been frustrated by delays in finalising the private prosecution of Isaac Andile Memese on a charge of rape.
Memese is accused of raping Celeste Gouws six years ago, on 3 September 2017.
According to AfriForum, the unit spent weeks preparing for the trial to resume on Tuesday, 5 September, with the defence calling a video forensic expert to testify about the video evidence led by the private prosecutor.
“At the last appearance in April this year, defence advocate Mike Maseti asked the court to compel the private prosecutor to provide the defence with a list of information related to the video equipment used to record the surveillance footage,” said the civil society organisation
AfriForum further said that, at the hearing in April, Advocate Gerrie Nel told the court that the private prosecutor had closed its case, and the defence would have to rely on the evidence submitted and accepted.
“He further told the court that some of the information sought by the defence team was simply unavailable.
Five months later, Maseti told the court that he could not call his expert witness because the private prosecutor had failed to provide the information they had requested in April,” added AfriForum
Spokesperson for AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit Barry Bateman said the steps to delay the finalisation of the case will not deter us from ensuring that justice is done.
The Private Prosecution Unit has travelled to Somerset East more than ten times now and will travel there again until this case is finalised, he said.
The matter has been postponed to 13 February next year.