An elderly Mthatha man was on Tuesday sentenced to six years in prison for raping his daughter more than 40 years ago.
Nyamekile Alfred Bhenge, 80, raped his daughter between 1978 and 1984.
NPA regional spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said the victim had cut ties with her family and changed her identity and gave consent for the name of her rapist father to be made public.
“When Bhenge started raping his daughter, she was 14 years old. They stayed together at Ngangelizwe township in Mthatha while her mother, who has since divorced Bhenge, worked as a migrant domestic worker in Durban,” Tyali said.
“As a result of the rapes, the daughter gave birth to a son in March 1983. Paternity tests conducted during investigations positively identified Bhenge as the biological father of the now 37-year-old man.
“After giving birth, the daughter ran away from home and relocated to Gauteng. She only decided to report her ordeal to authorities in Johannesburg after the much publicised successful prosecution of ex-tennis professional player and coach Bob Hewitt in 2015. Hewitt was sentenced for raping and sexually assaulting young girls in the 1980s and 1990s.”
The Gauteng police transferred the case to Mthatha where after completion of investigations Bhenge was arrested. He was convicted in July this year after pleading guilty.
In his plea explanation, Tyali said, Bhenge blamed alcohol.
“He claimed that he committed the rapes while drunk and thought his daughter was one of his ‘many girlfriends’ as his wife had left him,” Tyali said.
“In pre-sentence reports submitted to the court, the victim, who is now an established businesswoman, vowed to never forgive her father, adding that she wants nothing to do with her entire extended family due to the abuse she endured.”
By Vuyolwethu Sangotsha