Pregnant with HIV - at 13

A 42-YEAR-OLD man has allegedly impregnated and infected his 13-year-old stepdaughter with HIV.

The heart-wrenching story of how the man allegedly began to rape the girl when she was only 11 years old left a lump in the throat as it was revealed that the girl's mother is also HIV-positive.

The man, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the child, appeared at the Randburg Magistrates' Court on Friday, where he was not asked to plead to two counts of rape.

The man pleaded with the court on Friday to hasten DNA results so that the truth about the paternity of the child's father can be proven.

According to the state, the man allegedly began raping his stepdaughter while she was 11 at their home in Msawawa squatter camp, in Kya Sands, north of Joburg.

His HIV-positive wife, who is bedridden, was allegedly alerted to the rapes three years later, via SMS, by one of her daughters, who accused her of trying to save her marriage at the expense of her minor sister. The alleged rapes were also kept secret from the girl's siblings. The family feared that their mother might die if she found out that her husband was allegedly having sex with her daughter.

However, on August 29, after receiving an SMS from one of her daughters, who does not live with them, questioning her silence on the alleged rapes, the mother decided to take her to a doctor to be examined. The doctor confirmed that the girl had been repeatedly raped.

It is alleged that the mother of the girl is enraged by the fact that her husband, despite knowing about their HIV status, had allegedly raped her daughter.

She allegedly said she wanted him jailed for life for destroying her child's future. However, the man distanced himself from any wrongdoing.

"I am here [in court] because of my child. She told me that her boyfriend had made her pregnant," said the man, who represented himself because his lawyer was absent from court.

However, magistrate Fanuel Modau stopped him in his tracks and asked the man not to address the court about the merits of the case.

"Are you addressing me because your lawyer is not present today? What I want to find out from you is: do you have any objections?" Modau asked.

The man responded: "I have no problem with my blood being drawn so that the truth can be laid bare."

Modau transferred the man's rape case to the sexual offences court in Alexandra.

Prosecutor Elias Ratlou said the state would oppose bail as investigations were still incomplete.

Modau told the man he was transferring the case because it involved a minor and that investigations were incomplete.

Meanwhile, a Soweto mother, whose six-year-old daughter was allegedly raped by a 42-year-old man, is hoping that justice will finally prevail - a year after the incident.

The woman, who also cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, said her daughter was allegedly raped by a neighbour, who is a former teacher. She says the incident happened in October last year but that the case has been marred by several postponements.

"The case gets postponed every time we go to court. I am so frustrated. I just feel like packing my bags and going back home to KwaZulu-Natal," she said.

chelemuk@sundayworld.co.za

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