January 17, 2005

Rape victim (9) kept assaults secret for a year

Pretoria News

January 17, 2005

By Ndivhuwo Khangale

It was meant to be a deep secret that no one would know - even if it meant Musandiwa Sigidi dying in pain. This is what the parents of nine-year-old Musandiwa, of Lwamondo near Thohoyandou in Limpopo, discovered before she died, apparently after being repeatedly raped by a 79-year-old man.

Musandiwa's parents, Johannes and Grace Sigidi, said it took more than a year for her to tell them that she had been repeatedly raped by the man, a local clergyman who was close to her family.

Her parents said she told them that the priest - who cannot be named until he pleads to the charges against him - had told her not to tell anyone.

Musandiwa was ill for a long time and died in Tshilidzini Hospital on January 8, just days after disclosing the sexual abuse to her parents.

It started early in 2003, when she complained of pains, Grace Sigidi said. But, she said, when they took her to the clinic, nurses did not give her a thorough examination.

Posted by kshaw at January 17, 2005 02:19 AM