News | South Africa | Courts
D-Day is nearing for an East Rand mother facing a string of child abuse charges – among them the rape of her then eight-year-old son.
The boy is alleged to have suffered years of abuse at the hands of his mother as well as those of his stepfather.
But in 2017, he found his way to a place of safety where he reported he was being abused and both were then arrested.
Their trial, which started last year, is now in its final stages.
Closing arguments had been set down in the High Court in Johannesburg on Monday but had to be postponed to April after the court heard the woman had been exposed to someone with Covid-19 and was self-isolating.
While they are currently out on bail, both the boy’s mother and his stepfather – neither of whom can be named in order to protect his identity – could be facing life in prison if convicted.
The minimum prescribed sentence for the rape of a minor child – with which his mother has been charged with two counts and his stepfather, one – is life imprisonment.
In addition, the boy’s mother is facing charges of sexual exploitation, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, child neglect and compelling a child to witness sexual acts.
His stepfather, meanwhile, is also facing charges of sexual assault and sexual exploitation.
According to the indictment, the boy was molested and assaulted by both his mother and his stepfather on multiple occasions over a five-year period.
His mother allegedly burnt and cut him when he tried to resist her advances, while his stepfather is said to have threatened to kill him if he reported his abuse.
Part of the state’s case is that the boy and his mother were at one stage allegedly living at a local strip club where she was working and that one of the rapes allegedly took place “at or near” that club.
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