News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Sunday February 17th 2019

Khayelitsha man charged with raping girls as young as four


Testifying against a Khayelitsha man charged with raping five girls between the ages of five and 11, a doctor confirmed that one of the alleged victims, a girl of eight, had “been penetrated by a blunt object”.

Doctor Imma September was testifying in the Cape High Court trial of 50-year-old Mantinisi Damane who faces ten counts of rape for allegedly raping five children twice each during 2010.

September told the court that the eight-year-old rape victim he examined “was not penetrated once but many times”.

Social worker Thobela Mpumela, who counseled the young rape victims, told presiding Judge James Yekiso that although the children were young and had difficulty remembering events, they were prepared to tell the court all they knew, but requested they testify via closed circuit television so they did not have to face their alleged rapist, or the public.

Mpumela said as a result of being raped one of the girls had dropped out of school, started taking drugs, and became a bully, to the extent that she had to go to a place of safety.

One of the victims, who was four-years-old at the time of the alleged incident, could only use sign language to describe what happened to her.

“She might have difficulty testifying because she would need a lot of support and assistance,” said Mpumela.

Damane has pleaded not guilty to all 10 charges against him and remains in custody, having not applied for bail.

Dressed in a navy windbreaker, Mantinisi appeared relaxed while standing in the dock and showed no emotion when uttering his “not guilty” plea.

With more than 30 witnesses expected to be brought to the stand, the trial is expected to continue until September.

Mantinisi’s advocate Sheriff Mohammed asked the court to bar members of the public from attending court proceedings when the victims testify.

The state, represented by prosecutor Maresa Engelbrecht, contends that the accused lured the girls to his house, which he shares with his wife, and while the girls played outside with his daughter he would allegedly ask one of the girls inside and proceed to rape her.

On other occasions he would allegedly ask one of the girls to accompany him to the communal toilets and rape her there.

Mantinisi was arrested in August 2010 after one of his alleged victim’s parents received a report from school that their daughter was behaving badly.  When questioned, the girl told her parents about the rape and police were contacted for investigations.

Word spread fast among parents and a day later the matter was reported at the Khayelitsha police station, with more parents coming forward to lay charges against Mantinisi. – Sandiso Phaliso

Tags: Cape High Cour, Doctor Imma September, Judge James Yekiso, Khayelitsha, Mantinisi Damane, Maresa Engelbrecht, Sheriff Mohammed, Thobela Mpumela

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