Bernadette Wicks
Senior court reporter
3 minute read
4 May 2020
1:29 pm

SCA overturns stepfather’s rape conviction

Bernadette Wicks

The appeals court found that the Free State man who had already served seven years of a life sentence may have been falsely accused after punishing his 12-year-old stepdaughter for stealing a chocolate bar.

The Supreme Court of Appeal, Bloemfontein. Photo: Ben Bezuidenhout via Wikimedia

Almost seven years after he was thrown in jail for raping his stepdaughter, a Free State truck driver has been exonerated and set free. The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) last month set aside the man’s conviction along with the life sentence that came with it. The majority judgment, penned by Judge Yvonne Mbatha, pointed to evidence which suggested the girl - then 12-years-old - had made up the allegations after her stepfather had given her a hiding for stealing a chocolate bar from the local Spar. “Although the complainant said she was not angry at her stepfather for the...