14-year-old bears his baby

Glacier Nkhwashu

A 48-year-old who raped his 14-year-old stepdaughter and made her pregnant was sentenced to 20 years in jail by the Tzaneen circuit court yesterday

Mdumela Reckson Mathebula, of Khugwana village, near Tzaneen in Limpopo, pleaded guilty.

But he told the court that the girl had invited him to have sex with her.

"The baby boy is mine," he admitted in court, referring to his stepdaughter's 16-month-old baby.

He told the court that he was living with the girl's mother and her two siblings. Mathebula is married and has three children from another marriage.

On the day he raped his stepdaughter in 2004 her mother was not at home.

"The girl invited me to have sex with her and I regret it. I feel very sorry," said Mathebula.

The girl told the court that her stepfather had been raping her since 2003.

She said: "One day he raped me in the presence of my mother, but she could not hear anything because she was drunk."

She said she reported the matter to her mother, but was told not to worry "because that is how men behave nowadays".

"I did not invite him. He raped me," said the girl.

Passing sentence, Judge LO Bosielo said: "This is immoral and unacceptable.

"You introduced her to womanhood in a very traumatising way. Regrettably, this is a scar that will remain with her for ever. She will have to live with it for the rest of her life.

"She now shares a father with her child. For the sake of our future, we have to stop this."

Bosielo said Mathebula had no previous convictions, had shown remorse, could be rehabilitated and posed no danger to society and therefore did not deserve to be removed from society permanently.