A KwaZulu-Natal man has been handed two life sentences and 20 years imprisonment in the Estcourt Regional Court for raping and assaulting his two nieces.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the two victims, aged 13 and 14, went to live with their maternal grandmother from 2016 to 2018 after their mother passed away.
“From then on, their mother’s brother raped them at various occasions. Once, he tied the hands of one of the victims with a rope and suspended her from the roof of the house. He then used a pair of pliers to pinch her all over her torso,” said the NPA.
The 23-year-old man hails from Winterton.
The abuse came to light when one sister fell pregnant and told her father about the abuse that she and her sister suffered at the hands of their uncle.
Regional Court Prosecutor, Advocate Zwelethu Mata, led the testimonies of the two victims, as well as the DNA linking the accused to the offenses and victim impact statements.
“Both the victims said the trauma they endured haunted them every day. They had become withdrawn and wary of men. Also, their performance at school had been severely affected.”
The accused maintained in court that the sexual intercourse was consensual and has since been found guilty and sentenced.
His name will also be enrolled in the Sexual Offenders Register and will be declared unfit to work with children.
The Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal, Advocate Elaine Zungu, has welcomed the sentence and conviction.
“The accused was in a position of trust and it was his responsibility to care of the children, not abuse them in such a heinous manner. This sentence is indicative that the State is actively dealing with cases of this nature,” Zungu said.
In his Heritage Day speech on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke out against gender-based violence (GBV).
“So long as this country’s women and children live in fear of violence, we cannot regard ourselves as totally free.
“So long as women are being harassed, abused, beaten, raped, and murdered, we cannot say we are a civilized society,” said the President. – SAnews.gov.za