Victim in court after 36 years: Molester will be tried

For many years, a woman from Krugersdorp had to live with the abuse she and her brother had suffered from their uncle.

She recently decided she wouldn’t let these evil acts go unpunished and now, 36 years later, a 50-year-old man is on trial for what he did to the siblings.

The victim, now 40, told the News that when she was 14, she told her mother what her uncle had done to her.

She was sent to therapy and later she also told her grandmother about it.

A few months later, her grandmother and aunts ordered her to be quiet, telling her she was not allowed to speak to anyone about what she remembered. Recently, her grandmother passed away at the age of 89 and she decided once again to confront her attacker.

One moment I was standing there and the next I was in front of him,” she said. She asked her uncle to admit what he had done, but he denied it.

That day she knew she wouldn’t let him get away with it and last year, on July 14, the investigation began. On January 19 this year, he was arrested and appeared in court for a bail application on February 4.

The accused faces two counts of rape of minors.

Regional Magistrate Jay Baloyi said in court that the investigator’s statement detailed how the two minors were assaulted and allegedly raped.
When the abuse began, the first victim was only three years old and her attacker was 14 years old. When the perpetrator was 14, he assaulted the second victim who was seven years old at the time.
Then he would tell the first victim that it was “their secret”.

Olivia Jasriel and Ngaa Murombedzi of Women and Men Against Child Abuse in court to support victims. Photo: Natasha Pretorius.

The sibling abuse continued for many years until the accused was in matric and victim one was in 3rd grade. The court also heard that victim two said in his statement that he had previously met the defendant while he was with the victim. one, and asked them what they were doing.
His sister then burst into tears.

Regional magistrate Baloyi told the court that when the first victim confronted her attacker at her grandmother’s funeral, he tried to run her over with his vehicle and followed her home.

The court took into account that the defendant is the director of a company, is married and has two minor children. He also has family outside South Africa and a passport to travel.

He thinks he will be acquitted and has no reason to flee,” the magistrate said.

The accused was granted bail of R30,000 on the condition that he report to Roodepoort police station on Mondays and Fridays until the end of the trial. He is not authorized to contact the two victims and their parents, nor to approach within 100 meters of them.

He had to surrender his travel documents and is not allowed to apply for new ones.

The victim received support from Ngaa Murombedzi and Olivia Jasriel of Women and Men Against Child Abuse. Olivia told the News that she herself was one of Bob Hewitt’s victims and that many people took courage from what their organization was doing. Hopefully they would also take courage from this story.

Olivia said she felt historical abuse was largely overlooked and that it was amazing to see victims of historical abuse take their power back when they faced their abusers in court.

The first victim told the News that she came from an old-school Afrikaans family where such things weren’t talked about. She wanted to see justice for herself and her brother.

She also wanted to encourage other victims of sexual abuse by showing them that it is never too late to speak out.

Elna M. Lemons