South African civil rights movement #NotInMyName on Friday welcomed the three life terms meted out by the high court in Benoni to Nigerian Augustine Omini Obono after he was convicted for the human trafficking, rape, statutory rape and sexual exploitation of a then 12-year-old girl in 2016.
Oboni was found guilty of the crimes committed when he held the child in a flat in the South African capital Pretoria for three months, fed her with drugs and forced her to sleep with five to six men a day, according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
“We would like to welcome the three life terms in jail handed on this perpetrator of such heinous, evil crimes. Such people should never see the outside of jail,” #NotInMyName secretary general Themba Masango said on Friday.
“If it were possible, the death sentence should have been handed down for this person because he has killed the life out of a 12-year-old child. Such paedophiles do not belong to our society.”
Obono was additionally found guilty and on Thursday sentenced to three years for kidnapping and an additional seven years for keeping a brothel, NPA spokesperson for the Gauteng North region Lumka Mahanjana said.
In September 2016, while the minor was at a park for a picnic with friends, she came across a woman who asked her to accompany her to a flat in Pretoria’s infamous Sunnyside area, where she was meeting a man. According to Mahanjana, the woman promised the young girl that she would give her taxi money to go back home to Mamelodi the following morning.
At the flat, the woman handed the minor over to Obono so he could use the child as a prostitute. She eventually managed to escape in December and went to her uncle’s place in Mamelodi, telling him what had happened. The uncle reported the matter to the police, leading to Obono’s arrest. The NPA’s sexual offences and community affairs unit has referred the minor for counselling.