4 June 2012

South Africa: No Bail for Man Accused of Raping His Daughter

A man accused of repeatedly raping his 12-year-old daughter was denied bail by the Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court on Friday.

The 51-year-old church-going man who claimed to be a lay preacher was arrested on February 7 after his daughter approached members of the street committee and told them her father had been raping her and her bed-ridden mother for the past two years.

The girls allegations followed her mother being admitted to the Khayelitsha District Hospital for high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy and depression.

In court on Friday, the man, whose identity is withheld to protect the victims, broke down in tears when questioned by prosecutor Ndakhele Mlungwana regarding the charges against him, resulting in proceedings having to be adjourned three times.

The accused denied having raped his daughter saying: "I love my kid, I am not a witch or practicing it, this is all conspiracy made by my neighbour as we are not on good terms."

He said he had often had to take responsibility for raising his daughter as his wife was often in hospital.

According to the evidence brought before court by investigating officer Thandekile Mchithwa, following charges laid by the complainant on February 5, she was examined by a doctor whose findings indicated penetration had taken place.

Mchithwa said the victim said she had been raped twice in September 2011 and once in February this year.

"According to the victim all these incidents happened in the presence of her mother but because she was sick and afraid of her husband she couldn't protect her daughter and the victim couldn't resist doing what the accused told her to do," said Mchithwa.

He said her father threatened to beat her death if she told anyone.

Mchithwa argued against bail being granted as the victim was scared of her father and community members had come forward confirming that the man was abusive towards his daughter.

The accused also has a previous conviction of assault for which he was sentenced to 60 days in jail or R600.

He added that the accused's wife was booked into the Lentegeur Hospital for mental observation because of what the accused did to his daughter.

Magistrate Nassen Cassin, said evidence before the court showed that a rape did occur.

Cassin said as the accused knew the victim and had threatened her, bail should not be granted.

Additionally, the community had indicated that the man's life would be in danger should he be let out on bail.

The case was postponed until August 23.

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