South Africa: Verulam Man Allegedly Raped Stepdaughter 900 Times From 2013 to 2018, Court Hears

(file photo).

A 43-year-old man allegedly raped his 10-year-old stepdaughter about 900 times from 2013 to 2018, the Verulam Family Court heard on Tuesday.

The man, who cannot be identified because he has not yet pleaded, is applying for his release on bail.

According to prosecutor San Barthu, the man allegedly raped the child 15 times a month in Verulam, north of Durban.

The accused faces charges of rape, sexual grooming of children, sexual assault, and exposure or display of or causing exposure or display of child pornography or pornography to children, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, compelling or causing children to witness sexual acts and child abuse or deliberate neglect of a child.

Verulam residents and security guards allegedly assaulted him on June 11 after it was alleged that he had raped the little girl since her mother's death five years ago.

In the bail application, the accused submitted a sworn affidavit which his lawyer Mondli Mthethwa read out.

In it, he said he intended to plead not guilty to the charges.

"I did not rape or sexually assault my child. There's no DNA linking me to her rape. I was supporting my child since her mother passed away in 2013," he said.

The man said he could only afford to pay R2 000 bail, saying that he had been employed at Mamba Maintenance as an auto electrician, earning R8 000 a month, before he was arrested.

History of violence

The accused submitted that the State's case against him was "weak", saying that it was based on the evidence of a single witness.

The court heard that the man had a history of violence.

In 2005, he was charged with assault and paid an admission of guilt fine of R400.

In 2006, he was convicted of two charges of assault and malicious damage to property for which he also paid a R400 fine.

Mthethwa said the accused did not divulge the convictions in his affidavit because he had paid fines and didn't serve any jail time. He did not know that they counted as convictions.

Mthethwa also asked the court not to take into account the previous convictions because a period of 10 years had lapsed. He said the accused could have expunged the convictions in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act if he was aware that he could do so.

Investigating officer Nevarge Lutchimanarian told the court that he was opposed to the accused's release on bail. He said the accused did not have an identity document, passport, fixed address or fixed employment.

Lutchimanarian added that police had established that the accused did not stay in one area for more than three months.

He has, among other places, lived in Pinetown, Resevoir Hills and Springfield since he arrived in KwaZulu-Natal from Johannesburg.

Lutchimanarian told the court that Mamba Maintenance denied that the accused was employed full time. He said that, when he interviewed the company's owners, they told him the accused only worked on a part-time basis.

Lutchimanarian alleged that the accused was a violent person who posted pictures of firearms on his Facebook profile. He told the court that the accused had used a belt to assault his stepdaughter's aunt in 2014, when she arrived to take the child.

He said the accused's girlfriend, who was from Pinetown, obtained a protection order against him from the Pinetown Magistrate's Court in 2018.

"He was very violent towards her," said Lutchimanarian.

The girlfriend claimed in an affidavit that the accused said he was in the defence force and that he would kill her and make it look like a suicide.

DNA evidence and condoms

He revealed that, when he interviewed the accused, he continued making threats to the little girl.

"He said pass the message to the complainant that she must remember who she is dealing with. When I asked her what he meant, she said he had told her that if she reported him to the police, he would put her in the same place where he put her mother," he said.

Lutchimanarian confirmed there was no DNA evidence linking the accused to the rape, adding that the accused used condoms during the alleged rape.

"The child was examined by the district surgeon and there was vaginal penetration," he added.

Mthethwa argued that if the accused had raped his stepdaughter every two days then police should have been able to get DNA evidence.

"Seventy-two hours had not lapsed when he was arrested," he argued.

Lutchimanarian reiterated that the accused had used condoms, hence they could not get DNA evidence.

He reiterated the victim had informed them that the accused had used condoms every time they slept.

Magistrate Irfaan Khalil postponed the case to July 4 for closing arguments and a "possible" ruling.

Source: News24

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