Child bride tells of violent sex

Girl claims ‘husband’, 61, beat her if she rejected his unwelcome advances

A 13-year-old girl has told the court how her 61-year-old 'husband' allegedly raped her. File picture
A 13-year-old girl has told the court how her 61-year-old 'husband' allegedly raped her. File picture
Image: Deneesha Pillay

A 61-year-old man accused of raping a 13-year-old girl after she was allegedly forced to marry him claimed, through his lawyer in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday, that it was not in his culture to ask a woman her age.

The Greenbushes man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed it was the girl’s parents’ or guardians’ responsibility to inform him of her age.

His lawyer, George Malgas, said his client had assumed the girl was 17 years old after they spoke telephonically and met briefly prior to her being sent from Bizana to Port Elizabeth to live as his wife.

The now 15-year-old, who has the mental capacity of a nine-year-old, said she had been very young but her body had made her look older.

The man, his 63-year-old sister and the girl’s 61-year-old uncle face two charges of human trafficking – one of trafficking of persons and one of human trafficking culminating in a forced marriage for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

The two trafficking charges are different in context.

The “husband” faces two additional charges of rape.

It is alleged the girl was forced to marry him after her uncle entered into lobola negotiations with him.

It was allegedly agreed that he would pay the equivalent of 11 cows for the girl.

During November 2016 and April 2017, the girl was allegedly raped numerous time.

The girl’s uncle has pleaded guilty to a charge of human trafficking culminating in a forced marriage for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

He pleaded not guilty to the other charge.

The girls “husband” and his sister pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

On Thursday, Malgas put it to the girl that she had consented to having sex and that she was lying about what she claimed happened the first time he allegedly raped her.

The girl claimed that on the night she arrived in Port Elizabeth she was taken to the man’s house.

When she got there she told him that she was tired before undressing down to her underwear and getting into bed.

It was at that stage, the girl claimed, that the man undressed, got into bed and wanted to have sex with her.

When she resisted the man allegedly throttled her and continued to rape her.

Malgas asked the girl if she asked him where she was meant to sleep or asked him to stop what he was doing to her.

“How was I going to ask him? He was on top of me.

“I tried to speak but I couldn’t, I tried to scream but I couldn’t, he was strangling me,” the girl said.

“Any time [the man] wanted to sleep with me and I refused he would take anything and beat me with it.”

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