SHOCKING details of how a Uitenhage man took his five-year-old daughter as his girlfriend following the death of her mother emerged in the Port Elizabeth High Court yesterday.
As details of the father's 10- month-long systematic rape of his little daughter, who was badly injured by the sexual attacks, unfolded in court, not even the clinical phrases of the court's judgment could disguise the horror of what his stepmother told the court: he had treated his young child like his lover.
Judge Elna Revelas found the 43-year-old man guilty of the multiple rape of his daughter. He will be sentenced tomorrow.
State Advocate Joel Sesar asked the court to sentence him to life imprisonment.
The man has a long list of previous convictions, mostly for housebreaking and theft, but also for assault.
The court heard that after the child's mother died in November 2009, her father started treating her "like his girlfriend".
The man's stepmother, who lived on the same property, first raised the alarm about his abuse of the little girl.
She told the court that after his girlfriend died the man started treating his daughter like his lover.
He isolated the child and shared a bed with her. He would rape her while her one-year-old brother slept beside her in the bed.
He also expected her to care for the baby boy.
"He would also chastise her for smiling on the street but not at home, obviously suggesting that she was inappropriately flirtatious," Judge Revelas said in her judgment.
The man, who was aggressive in court, shouting at the police, told the judge during the trial to "lock up his daughter" and not him as she was the one lying.
"He told the court that he would not rape her as he had created her," Judge Revelas said.
Despite medical evidence that his child was badly injured during the rapes, he insisted she had not been raped.
He accused his stepmother of fabricating evidence against him, saying she wanted him out of the house.
His stepmother told the court she had a very acrimonious relationship with him and had obtained a protection order against him.
A young friend of the five-year- old girl witnessed one of the rapes in August 2010.
Judge Revelas said the child's stumbling explanation of what had happened could not be used to criticise her as it would have been excruciatingly difficult for a child to explain the sex act to a court filled with policemen.
The friend had later told the police that the man had threatened to kill her – even before she saw the rape.
Four days after her friend witnessed the rape, the five-year-old victim spoke for the first time about what had happened. She was taken to the police and a social worker.
She was admitted to hospital and treated for the severe injuries sustained during the rapes.
Judge Revelas said despite this, the child had to be pressured to reveal what her father had done to her.
"Under the circumstances, this did not diminish the value of her report," the judge said.
She said the social worker had told the court that the child took her hand to show her what exactly had been done to her.