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Mom (91) evades rape by her son

A 91-year-old woman speaks about her ordeal after she was almost raped, allegedly by her 53-year-old son in Zola, Soweto.
A 91-year-old woman speaks about her ordeal after she was almost raped, allegedly by her 53-year-old son in Zola, Soweto.

A 91-year-old woman broke down as she told of the abuse she suffered allegedly in the hands of her son, who also attempted to rape her.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect her identity, said being in her home was "like being in hell".

She said she and her two grandchildren had been suffering abuse for more than 20 years at the hands of her 53-year-old son.

She said days before he attempted to rape her, he had told her that he wanted to "be the man of the house on my account".

"I was sleeping in my room [on Friday] and I heard my door being flung open. I got up and saw my son staring at me with a cold look in his eyes," said the frail woman.

She said she was startled when her son said he wanted to sleep with her and did not think that he would act on the threat.

"He stood there and asked if I remember what he said to me? He said he wanted to sleep with me and wanted to be my man and the man of the house. He was very aggressive and wanted to pin me down on the bed. I fell off and attempted to crawl out of my room.

"When he realised that I was not giving in to his demands, he told me that he would never take care of me and that I would die poor," she said, weeping. Her son appeared in the Protea magistrate's court yesterday and the matter was postponed to next week for formal bail application.

The woman said she had previously obtained a protection order against her son after years of being tormented by him but that her now late brother intervened and begged her to forgive him.

"I should have never allowed him to convince me into forgiving him. At one stage, he was away from my house for about three weeks. When he returned, he started abusing me verbally and physically all over again.

"I regret not listening to the magistrate and forgiving him because he is my son. "I don't want him to come back because I know the abuse will start all over again. He will be angry that I got him arrested. I need help."

One of her grandson, who also cannot be named, said his uncle terrorised the family and that he has attempted to stop him from physically assaulting the old woman but he too was scared of him.

"There are many times where we had to wake up in the middle of the night and found him shouting and swearing at magogo (granny)."

The woman's other grandson said he could not do much to intervene because he is currently on parole.

"I talk to him and tell him that we do not like what he is doing. But I try to stay out of his way because he knows I am on parole, and he has threatened to open a case of common assault against me if I do anything. I will be rearrested for not abiding by the rules," he said.

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Mathapelo Peters said the man has been charged with attempted rape and common assault.

"It is alleged that neighbours on Friday 25 October 2019, rescued a 91-year-old woman who was being assaulted by the man... after she had refused his sexual advances," she said. Peters added police would prioritise cases of violence against vulnerable groups.

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