By Thys Khiba
Mthatha – The National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa Regional Spokesperson, Luxolo Tyali confirmed that the Mthatha Regional Court sentenced Nyamekile Alfred Bhenge (80) to six years direct imprisonment for raping his biological daughter between 1978 and 1984.
“The victim in this case has since cut ties with her family and changed her identity. She gave consent for the name of her rapist father to be made public,” said Tyali.
It has been discovered that Bhenge started raping his daughter when she was 14 years old.
They stayed together at Ngangelizwe Township in Mthatha while her mother, who has since divorced Bhenge, worked as a migrant domestic worker in Durban.
As a result of the rapes, the daughter gave birth to a son in March 1983. Paternity tests conducted during investigations positively identified Bhenge as the biological father of the now 37-year-old man.
“After giving birth, the daughter ran away from home and relocated to Gauteng. She only decided to report her ordeal to authorities in Johannesburg after the much publicised successful prosecution of ex-tennis professional player and coach Bob Hewitt in 2015. Hewitt was sentenced for raping and sexually assaulting young girls in the 1980s and 1990s,” said Tyali.
According to Tyali, the Gauteng police officials transferred the case to Mthatha whereupon completion of investigations, Bhenge was arrested.
He was convicted in July this year after pleading guilty and Bhenge blamed alcohol.
Bhenge claimed that he committed the rapes while drunk and thought his daughter was one of his “many girlfriends” as his wife had left him.
Meanwhile, Bhenge’s daughter, who is now an established business woman, vowed to never forgive Bhenge, adding that she wants nothing to do with her entire extended family due to the abuse she endured.
The NPA welcomes the sentence with the hope that it will encourage other victims of sexual offences to come forward even if the crimes took place a long time ago, so that the perpetrators can face the full might of the law.
DO YOU HAVE A NEWS STORY OR AN OPINION FOR CENTRAL NEWS: E-mail us : firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp us on 083 398 9119