AN Alexandria man was sentenced to life imprisonment last week after he was found guilty of raping his daughter who was seven years old at the time of the incident.
The 50-year-old man from KwaNonkqubela township appeared in the Grahamstown High Court last Tuesday.
Nomzikazi Cynthia Geleba, who works for the National Association of Child and Youth Care Workers Association, knew the family who lived in a two-roomed shack.
She said the mother was unemployed and that both the parents were addicted to iqhilika, a honey-brew beer. She said that the victim’s parents would often take her along on their “daily drinking binges”.
It was for this reason that Geleba, whose work involves going door to door to assess the levels of poverty within the community, arranged for the child to stay at her house on Fridays.
Afterwards she was enrolled at the Khayalethemba Centre. The child was absent from the centre for a few consecutive days and when she returned on May 6, 2011 the child could not walk properly and kept brushing and scratching her private parts. This is when the sexual assault was revealed and reported to the police.
Geleba said that before the assault the child had been “generally very active, jovial and intelligent”. A victim impact report, compiled by clinical psychologist Pumza Sakasa, described her as tearful, sensitive, depressed, absent-minded and withdrawn. In the report the child said she felt sad most of the time and had nightmares as well as headaches, stomach cramps and abdominal pains.
Sakasa deemed her clinically depressed and said that her behaviour since the incident indicates that “the rape has affected her significantly”.
The father has 15 previous convictions for theft and assault, dating back as early as to the age of 18.