Illustration - A frightened boy sits on the floor of a bedroom with bunkbeds and protects himself. On the wall the shadow of a man looking down on him.
DURBAN – A 43-year-old, man accused of raping his stepdaughter since she was five-years-old, appeared bruised and battered in Verulam’s family court on Thursday.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the 10-year-old child, is being charged with rape, sexual grooming, exposure of a child to pornography and sexual assault.
He is alleged to have moved to Verulam – about 30km inland of Durban – from Johannesburg six months ago. The child’s mother is deceased.
This was his first appearance before magistrate Irfaan Khalil, who granted television channels permission to film proceedings. Outside the court, angry community members called for “the rapist” to be released to them.
The man appeared with visible wounds, which he said were inflicted by private security firm Reaction Unity South Africa (RUSA) officers during his arrest. He had bruising under his chin and eyes, his lips were swollen and he complained of a fractured rib.
RUSA arrested the man on Monday after being alerted to the situation by concerned neighbours. They recovered used condoms, lingerie, pornographic material and sex toys at the room in which the child was living.
Windows in the room were blocked out with newspaper and the man allegedly allowed the child limited access to the outside world and would not let her see her family.
RUSA claims the man was seriously beaten by the community and was taken to Osindisweni Hospital but escaped. RUSA officers again arrested him in Phoenix on Tuesday after he was recognised from one of the security company’s Facebook posts.
The child has been taken to a place of safety.
The man was remanded in custody until 25 June, during which time his mental state is to be determined.