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KZN man gets life in prison for rape of girlfriend’s 5-year-old child

08 February 2021 - 16:33 By shonisani tshikalange
The KwaDukuza regional court sentenced a man to life in prison for the rape of a five-year-old girl in November 2018. Stock photo.
The KwaDukuza regional court sentenced a man to life in prison for the rape of a five-year-old girl in November 2018. Stock photo.

A 28-year-old man who sexually molested his girlfriend’s five-year-old child was sentenced to life imprisonment in the KwaDukuza regional court on Monday.

After discovering that his girlfriend went on a night vigil and left her three children at home, the man took advantage of the oldest, a five-year-old girl, who was sleeping, sexually molesting her.

The man pleaded guilty to the rape in November 2018.

Directorate of Public Prosecutions KZN spokesperson Natasha Kara said the incident took place in Shakaville when the man went to visit his girlfriend at her house.

“He discovered that she had gone to a night vigil and left her three sleeping children at home. The five-year-old child was sleeping on the bed while her younger siblings slept on a mattress next to the bed,” said Kara.

Kara said that in his plea, the 28-year-old said he became sexually aroused and undressed himself and the girl.

“He then sexually molested the child. Thereafter he fell asleep. When he awoke his girlfriend had still not returned so he got dressed and left the house. When the woman returned, the child reported the incident to her.

“The child was unsure who the perpetrator was, as it was dark. She, however, suspected that it was him. She was taken to the police station where a case against the accused was opened. DNA samples were taken from both him and the child,” said Kara.

The man, who had initially denied the allegations, had no other recourse but to plead guilty when the DNA results linked him to the rape.

“In aggravation of sentence, regional court prosecutor Paul Nel handed in a victim impact statement completed by the child’s mother ... In the statement, the woman said that the accused had betrayed their trust, as her children considered him to be a father figure. Further, she mentioned that the community members held her responsible for the incident,” said Kara.

Apart from the life sentence, the court also ordered that his name be entered into the National Register for Sex Offenders.

“Also, he was declared unfit to work with children in the future and declared unfit to possess a firearm,” Kara said.

Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal, advocate Elaine Zungu, welcomed the sentence and conviction, commending the prosecution and investigation team.

“This matter shows the importance of DNA evidence which is vital in such cases. The complainant was only five years old and the difficulty was also the issue of lighting and proper identification of the accused. To prove this, the state relied on the DNA results which resulted in the successful prosecution.

“The issue of reporting such cases immediately to the Saps to allow for the medical evidence to be gathered timeously is pivotal. Members of the community need to be educated on early reporting, to allow for medical evidence to be gathered. There is a real need for dialogues on gender-based matters in our communities,” said Zungu.