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Cape Town 'uncle' handed life sentence for raping 7-year-old relative, infecting her with HIV

Then he allegedly raped his 9-year-old niece while out on bail

A 42-year-old Cape Town man has been sentenced for raping a seven-year-old child and infecting her with HIV.
A 42-year-old Cape Town man has been sentenced for raping a seven-year-old child and infecting her with HIV.
Image: 123RF/Andriy Popov

A 42-year-old Cape Town man has been sentenced to life in prison for raping a seven-year-old relative and knowingly infecting her with HIV.

The girl, now 14, said in her victim impact statement: “My life will not be the same again and I will not forget what happened.”

The man, from Du Noon, was on Wednesday also sentenced in the Cape Town regional court to 10 years imprisonment for attempted murder because he knew his HIV status when he raped the child.

Prosecutor Ruwayda Badrudeen told the court the man raped the then seven-year-old as she lay on the couch watching TV. The victim did not inform anyone about the incident “as she saw him as her uncle”.

The incident only came to light after the child became ill and was taken to a clinic where a doctor discovered she had sexually transmitted diseases.

An initial HIV test came back negative but the doctor requested she be brought back a few weeks later for further tests. A second test came back positive and police started investigating.

National Prosecuting Authority Western Cape spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the investigating officer “attempted to get her to reveal what had happened”.

“One morning he took the victim’s grandmother to her school and the victim came to the investigating officer’s vehicle. She was again asked what happened and she revealed the accused raped her,” said Ntabazalila.

The man was arrested in September 2016 on a rape charge.

“There was no DNA as the incident was reported after the 72-hour window period and therefore no exhibits could be obtained. The accused’s initial version, to his attorney, was that he was gay and therefore could not have raped the child,” said Ntabazalila.

“He subsequently indicated that if the state could prove the HIV strain the child contracted was the same as he had, he would plead guilty.”

A virologist from Groote Schuur Hospital was brought in to bolster the state’s case. The virologist analysed three viral loads of blood and the rest were sent to Tygerberg Hospital for analysis.

“The results took a while to finalise but came back positive,” said Ntabazalila.  

“The arrest was not the end of the challenges facing the case as the victim struggled to testify about what happened to her.

“In her victim impact statement, the now 14-year-old said she cries at night as she has a wound she knows will never heal. 'He did not only rape me, but he also infected me with HIV and I must drink tablets every night. My life will not be the same again and I will not forget what happened.'”

Ntabazalila said the man, released under house arrest, went to live with his brother and during this time allegedly raped his nine-year-old niece. He is to appear in the Cape Town regional court on November 6 in connection with that case.

The court ordered the sentences to run concurrently, his name to be entered into the National Register of Sex Offenders — prohibiting him from working with vulnerable groups — and he may not apply to adopt a child or be a foster parent. If he wanted to, he had to disclose the sentence against him.



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