South Africa News

Pretoria man convicted of raping his 11-month-old daughter

A 32-year-old Olievenhoutbosch father was found guilty of the rape and attempted murder of his 11-month-old daughter, as well as defeating the ends of justice in the High Court in Pretoria.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the father and the mother of the baby were in a love relationship, and on the evening of April 30, 2023, the couple was at their place of residence when a neighbour came and asked the mother to come and help her cook.

The neighbour who asked for help was hosting an overnight ceremony. The child’s mother then departed with the neighbour, leaving the baby under the guardianship of her father.

“The following day, in the early hours of the morning, while the mother was still assisting the neighbour, she saw her partner on the streets. When she asked about the whereabouts of the baby, he told her that he had left the baby sleeping,” according to Gauteng NPA regional spokesperson, Lumka Mahanjana.

“They then walked back to the house together where the mother found the baby lying on her chest with her back raised. When the mother touched the child to change her diaper she began to cry,” Mahanjana said.

“As the mother was changing the diaper, she noticed that the baby’s private parts were swollen and there was semen on the diaper.”

The mother then notified the child’s father that their baby had been raped and they should take her to the clinic.

“However, the father suggested that they take the baby to a traditional healer who is a neighbour. During the consultation with the traditional healer, the father confessed to raping the child. That is when the traditional healer advised them to seek medical assistance as he could not help them any further,” said Mahanjana.

“When they returned home from the traditional healer, the man threatened the mother with a knife and ordered her not to take the child to the clinic as this will attract attention from the community.”

The following day, the mother of the child travelled to Limpopo, pretending to be visiting her other child, but instead she took the baby to a clinic in Venda.

However, at that Limpopo clinic, the woman was told to return to Pretoria and report the case.

“After arriving back in Pretoria on May 4, 2023, she reported the case to the police and later that day, the father was arrested at his place of residence and has been in custody since,” said Mahanjana.

“In court, the man pleaded not guilty to all charges, and gave a plea explanation stating that on the day of the incident, he had inserted his thumb in the baby’s private part while bathing her to remove soil particles which were there as a result of her playing outside.”

However, the prosecutor, advocate Vongani Khosa argued that the father indeed sexually penetrated his baby because semen was visible.

The court agreed with the State and rejected the man’s version because it was not consistent with the presence of semen.

The court noted that the State had been able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case has been postponed to March 6, for sentence proceedings.

Earlier this month, Police Minister Bheki Cele released the third-quarter crime statistics spanning October 1 to December 31, 2023. Cele expressed concern that most gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) cases had occurred in the residences of the victims.

He said 4,264 suspects were arrested for GBVF crimes, such as rape and s.e.xual assault.

“The fight against GBVF crimes remains a priority for our men and women in blue and that is why we are encouraged to report that all our sexual offence crimes, including rape sexual assault and contact sexual offences all registered an overall 1.7% decline during this period,” said Cele.

Rape declined by 1.7% and six provinces including Gauteng, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Northern Cape and Western Cape all registered a decline in this crime category.”

-IOL

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