Man convicted of child rape: South Africa News

Just occasionally someone gets convicted – and we all shout Hooray!
What a brave girl after all she had been through.

Grahamstown - A 30-year-old man accused of raping a six-year-old girl and infecting her with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) was convicted of rape in the Grahamstown High Court on Friday.

Acting-Judge Philip Zilwa found that Makathini Bacela, of Molteno, in the Eastern Cape, had raped the girl at his parental home on March 30, last year.  Sentence is expected to be passed next week.

Judge Zilwa said that when Bacela took the stand and testified that the girl could have suffered injuries to her genitals by riding a bicycle, or when he carried her home on his shoulder, after she had been raped, "were manifestly absurd".  "His (Bacela's) evidence that she could have suffered these injuries from either of these activities are totally devoid of merit, or common sense.  "The girl could not have contracted an STD by riding a bicycle. On the contrary, it is irrefutable proof that she was raped," he said.

The Judge said the impression created by the complainant as a single witness, was a very favourable one.

Anatomically correct dolls

"She was a typical six-year-old child who could only relate in her own words what had happened to her. She does not have the cognitive capacity to fabricate this kind of testimony. "Her use of the anatomically correct dolls to demonstrate what she could not put into words was of immeasurable assistance to this court."

He said he had noted the demeanour of Bacela when he testified and "was not impressed".  "In the manner he (Bacela) acquitted himself in the witness box, in my view, left me in no doubt that his version of events cannot be reasonably possibly true.  "Furthermore, where they are inconsistent with the facts as presented by the state, they are rejected."
IsiXhosa-speaking clinical psychologist Karen Andrews, said she had assessed the girl and said she "was emotionally restricted as she had been physically abused by her biological mother, and removed from her mother's care three years ago".

"The impact of the rape of this child has left her with symptoms of post traumatic stress. She also displays symptoms of anxiety, withdrawal, and flattened mood. She lacks the curiosity and initiative essential to moving her into her next stage of development," said Andrews.

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Why are so many small children abused by male perpetrators in South Africa? Our researcher interviewed 27 perpetrators in prison in South Africa; all are in jail after being found guilty of some of the most terrible crimes against some of the most vulnerable children – some as young as a few days old. Those interviewed are all men aged between 16 years and 84 years old, and all have brutalised and raped at least one child. But the findings aren’t maybe what we might expect – it makes interesting reading.  We have been funding research into this for 5 years and it is finally finished and published .

Our flagship Caring for Crèches programme has reached into some of the poorest communities in five of the nine provinces in South Africa and we have crèche leaders everywhere clamouring for the training. We have now trained over 2,200 people and they in turn have already positively impacted on the lives of over 160,000 children … and will continue to help many hundreds more children for years to come