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Grahamstown High Court dismisses appeal by man who raped relative (9)

Sabelo Damana (36) was sentenced to 10-years imprisonment by the Port Elizabeth Regional Court more than two years ago.

Picture: SAPS.

CAPE TOWN - The Grahamstown High Court has dismissed an appeal brought by a man convicted of raping a nine-year-old relative.

Sabelo Damana (36) was sentenced to 10-years imprisonment by the Port Elizabeth Regional Court more than two years ago.

It was in connection with a rape he had committed in 2009.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said Damana sexually assaulted the victim at her home after she arrived back from school.

It happened in 2009 when the child was nine-years-old.

As a result of the trauma and shame she felt she would suffer, the NPA said the child didn't tell anyone.

Seven years later, her mother told her that two female relatives had accused Damana of raping them while they were under the age of 10.

Her mother asked her daughter if the man had attacked or abused her as well.

The child at first said no, but later said he had in a letter she had written to her mother.

The attack was the only sexual encounter the victim had experienced at the time of medical examination subsequent to her reporting the matter to the police.

The complainant's medical records confirmed she had been raped.

The presiding judge at the Grahamstown High Court found that Damana was not an impressive witness and he was evasive, especially during cross-examination as to whether he indeed raped the complainant.

The judge further stated that the trial court found the victim's explanation for the delay in reporting the matter to be reasonable and furthermore relied on the rape of the victim being corroborated by medical evidence.

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