An HIV-positive primary school teacher is facing a life sentence if found guilty of knowingly infecting one of his alleged rape victims.
If he is convicted it would be the third time an HIV-positive rapist has been convicted in this country of attempted murder.
Yesterday one of the teacher’s alleged victims, an 11-year-old, testified that he had been given the choice of being raped, beaten or being reported to his mother.
The boy was testifying in camera in the Protea Magistrate’s Court, Soweto. His former social sciences teacher has been charged with two counts of rape and one of attempted murder.
The 44-year-old teacher is accused of raping the 11-year-old and a nine-year-old.
He is also accused of attempted murder for exposing the older boy to HIV at a time when he was aware that he carried the virus.
He has pleaded not guilty.
The 11-year-old testified that in November he had been called to the teacher’s classroom after other children had gone home because he had a damaged workbook.
“He asked me whether I wanted to be beaten, have my mother called or be raped,” the boy said. “When I didn’t answer, he raped me.”
The boy said the teacher then gave him a tissue and told him to go to the toilet and clean himself.
During cross-examination by the teacher’s lawyer, Jaco Strydom, the boy said he had kept still throughout the assault.
After the alleged rape, he had confided in his cousin, who told the boy’s mother. She took him to the police and then to Chris Hani-Baragwanath Academic Hospital.
Strydom pointed to contradictions between the boy’s testimony and his police statement, including whether he or the teacher had removed his trousers.
The mother of the nine-year-old boy had testified earlier that she discovered that her son had been raped when he repeatedly wet his bed.
She said her son told a social worker that the teacher had offered him a lift home from school but instead took him to the public toilets at a shopping mall and raped him. The teacher then bought him an ice cream.