In a recent case that has shocked the North West community, a church leader has been sentenced to two years imprisonment for contravening Section 22 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act.
Zoliswa Menziwa, aged 36, was arrested after being found in a house used as a church in Sondela Phase 1, Boitekong outside Rustenburg, along with five adults who were naked and 11 children, aged between four and 12 years old.
The provincial police spokesperson, Captain Sam Tselanyane, provided details of the incident, stating that Menziwa was the only individual found clothed and was allegedly the church leader.
Following preliminary investigations, all the children were removed from the house and placed under the care of social workers, who will provide the necessary intervention and support. The case was subsequently transferred to the Rustenburg Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit for further investigation.
The investigations were led by the unit commander, Colonel Mosidi Mafora, and Warrant Officer Phiri Mfetane. After a thorough investigation, Menziwa was found guilty as charged, while the other five accused were acquitted.
Menziwa received a two-year suspended sentence, with the condition that she is not convicted of the same charge during the five-year suspension period.
The North West Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, expressed satisfaction with the sentencing and reiterated the commitment of the police force to combat crimes against women and children.
He emphasized that protecting the vulnerable will always be a priority for the police in the province. Kwena also commended the investigating team for their diligent work in ensuring that perpetrators of such crimes face the full consequences of the law.
Cases involving the exploitation and abuse of children are deeply disturbing and have severe and long-lasting impacts on the victims. The sentencing of Menziwa serves as a reminder that society will not tolerate such heinous acts and that those responsible will be held accountable for their actions.
It is crucial for communities to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities or concerns regarding the safety and well-being of children. By working together with law enforcement agencies and social services, we can create an environment where children are protected and their rights are upheld.