A 53-year-old man has been sentenced by the Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown to life imprisonment for raping his stepdaughter  for 10 years, while fully aware that he was HIV positive.

Anelisa Ngcakani, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson said the court sentenced the man to life imprisonment for rape, 10 years for attempted murder “as he raped the girl while he knew that he was HIV positive”, five-years imprisonment for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and 12 months for assault.

Ngcakani said “His application for leave to appeal the sentence of life imprisonment was refused”. She added that the NPA welcomed the sentence.

Ngcakani said in arguing for a life sentence, advocate Sakhumzi Mtsila had stressed that an element of planning could be discerned from the stepfather’s actions.

Mtsila said “In most incidents, he would make sure that he was alone with the complainant and raped her. He was the stepfather of the complainant with whom he created a good relationship and distanced her from her mother. Therefore the complainant trusted him and he abused and destroyed that trust. The complainant regarded him as her own father. The accused abused the complainant for 10 years”.

Ngcakani said the then 11-year-old girl moved in with her mother and stepfather in Queenstown at the beginning of 2008.

“The stepfather then started raping her by penetrating her vagina with his fingers.

“Six years later during June 2014, the stepfather discovered that she had a boyfriend. This angered him so much that he took the girl to a clinic for family planning and then started raping her a week later while the mother was at church.

“The rapes then snowballed. During the 2015 December holidays, when the mother left to visit family in Port Elizabeth, he raped her until her mother returned in January 2016. He continued to rape her regularly until 2018 when the victim moved out of the family home to undergo training at a police training college. The rapes occurred on a few occasions when she visited.

“While the victim visited during September 2018 the stepfather discovered a photo of her boyfriend in her phone. He then took her to a forest where he assaulted her with fists and a piece of wood. He continued to assault her even later on in the day. As a result, she sustained a fractured wrist and bruising over her lower body.

Ngcakani said “When the victim returned to the training college she then broke her silence and told a police officer about the rapes and assaults”.