A 30-year-old Brakpan woman who is accused of murdering her much older husband, yesterday told the court he had molested and raped her from a young age and eventually forced her to marry him.
A statement by Cathy van Oudtshoorn in which she described how she shot her husband Chris, 58, in April 2016, was yesterday read to the High Court in Pretoria, in support of an application to have her referred for mental observation.
Van Oudtshoorn was placed in foster care with Chris van Oudtshoorn and his wife Jorina aged four and they later adopted her. She said her stepfather started sexually molesting her at the age of six and used to force her to give him “blowjobs”.
In 2000, when she was 13, he raped her for the first time and thereafter regularly forced himself on her at night and even raped her in the bushes while they were on family holidays.
She said he used every opportunity to rape and molest her and used to threaten that she would go back to the orphanage if she said anything.
She tried to commit suicide a few times from the age of 13 as “it would have been the end of all the hurt”.
Van Oudtshoorn said she was forced to stay with her stepfather after her stepmother divorced him. She later fell pregnant with another man’s baby, but her boyfriend left her.
When she told her stepfather she was pregnant, he raped her again and told her she had no choice than to have the baby and marry him. The physical and mental abuse became worse after he forced her to marry him in 2008.
She said they had an argument before the shooting and she remembered being terrified that she would have to face another night of violent rape and pain.
She went to fetch the firearm, pointed it at him, closed her eyes and pulled the trigger, but said she was not thinking of what she was doing at the time.
She admitted afterwards asking her stepmother to help her make the scene look like a robbery, but confessed after a policeman slapped her and told her to start talking.
The trial continues.
Van Oudtshoorn’s stepmother is presently serving a five-year term after pleading guilty to being an accessory to murder and defeating the course of justice.