The Sunday News
Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
A 60-YEAR-OLD Esigodini man has been jailed 15 years and fined $300 for sexually abusing his 17-year-old stepdaughter whom he had shared the same bed with.
The man from Esihlengeni area who cannot be named for ethical reasons pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault and aggravated indecent assault but was convicted due to overwhelming evidence by Gwanda regional magistrate, Mr Mark Dzira last week.
He was ordered to pay a $300 fine or sentenced to 30 days imprisonment in case of default. For the second count he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment of which three years were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next five years. Prosecuting, Mr Mncedisi Dube said the man first fondled his 17-year-old stepdaughter’s breasts and went on to insert his finger in her private parts.
“On a date unknown but in the month of May the complainant was in her bedroom hut getting dressed after taking a bath when her stepfather walked in. He advanced towards her and started fondling her breasts. The complainant pushed her stepfather away who then left the room and warned her against reporting the matter to anyone.
“The complainant revealed the matter to her mother who then informed a local pastor and the accused person was reprimanded for his actions. In July the complainant’s mother went to attend a funeral and left the complainant and her two siblings aged nine and four under the custody of the accused person,’’ he said.
Mr Dube said on 13 July at around 5am the girl was sleeping in the same bed with the accused person who again inserted his finger in her private parts. The court heard that the girl woke up when she felt that someone was violating her and she realised that it was stepfather. Mr Dube said the girl screamed and the accused person left her.
“At around 6am, the girl went to report the matter to the local pastor. Upon her mother’s return she also narrated to her what her stepfather had done. The matter was reported to the police resulting in the arrest of the accused person,’’ he said.
In his defence the man denied to have sexually abused the complainant. He said on the day in question he slept in the same bed with complainant as they had visitors but he did not touch her as there were other children in the same bedroom who were sleeping on the floor.