Nanny from hell

'Keep an eye on the nanny'.

THE parents of a 5-year-old boy, who was raped by his nanny in Zondela near Ulundi in KwaZulu-Natal, have warned other parents to monitor the activities of people they leave their children with.

The warning follows Monday's sentencing of the nanny to life imprisonment by the Nongoma regional court.

The boy's father said the sentence would bring closure and comfort to the family after months of frequent visits to the court. The boy's parents cannot be named to protect the child's identity.

"At one stage she was granted bail and we started to lose hope that she would be punished for her crime," he said.

"I have regained my trust in the justice system.

"I urge all parents not to ignore complaints by their children but to attend to them without delay."

He said his son still had to go for medical tests since the woman's health status was not known.

"We took him to the doctor before but we will have to do more tests to be certain that my son's health has not been compromised," he said.

"The family has accepted the court's sentence and we want to move forward with our lives," the boy's mother said.

Presiding Judge PZ Xulu said: "The law states that children should be protected and I imposed the harsh sentence because a child was abused and there were no reasons stopping me from doing so."

Xulu said he had presided over rape cases before but noted that this was the first case where a woman was accused of rape.

Skhumbuzo Buthelezi, the police official who worked on the case, said the court's verdict was based on the boy's age and the abuse of trust by the woman as a guardian.

Buthelezi also said the woman could have endangered the boy's health and life.

"At such a young age, the boy was exposed to infections. Due to the nature of the crime, the judge had to impose a fitting sentence," Buthelezi said.

He said during the abuse, the woman had smeared Vaseline on the boy's private parts before placing him on top of her. He said this had left blisters on the boy's private parts.

Dr Andries Barnes said: "Young boys can get an erection but cannot be aroused like grown men.

"In this case, the blisters found on the boy's private parts are proof that the boy was forced to perform the act which would not have been the case if he had acted willingly."

KwaZulu-Natal Childline director Linda Naidoo applauded the justice system for the sentence.

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