Johannesburg - Justice has prevailed for an Mpumalanga girl, aged 7, who was raped by her uncle.
The Nelspruit Sexual Offences Court convicted and sentenced a 33-year-old man from Masoyi, Mpumalanga, to life imprisonment for the rape of his niece.
The accused and the victim lived together in one house.
On the day of the incident in 2019, the child’s mother went to work and left the child with the accused. In the evening, the child watched television and went to sleep. While asleep, the accused entered her room, undressed, and raped her. The accused saw the her bleeding, cleaned her with a pillowcase, and placed it inside the wardrobe.
The NPA said the child’s mother returned from work, prepared dinner, and when they finished eating, the mother went to her bedroom to sleep, and the child started to cry.
On being questioned, she told her mother that her uncle injured her when she was not around.
The mother inspected her and saw the injuries on her private parts. The following morning, she reported the ordeal to the family and alerted the police. The accused was arrested, and the state successfully opposed his release on bail until his conviction.
The NPA said in court that the uncle pleaded not guilty, and prosecutor Lazarus Rabothata led evidence of the victim’s first report, and their evidence was complemented by the testimony of the forensic nurse, which proved that the child sustained severe injuries on her private part.
Rabothata presented a victim impact statement compiled by court preparation officer, Zodwa Lekhuleni.
In that statement, the child’s mother stated that the incident hurt the child, and she is now living in fear. The court sentenced the accused to life imprisonment, ordered his name to be entered into the National Register for Sexual Offenders, and also declared him unsuitable to work with children.
The Director of Public Prosecutions in Mpumalanga, advocate Nkebe Kanyane, lauded prosecutor Rabothata and the investigating officer for their persistence in securing a conviction and sentence.
“This affirms our commitment to curbing gender-based violence and sexual offences,” said Kanyane.