A 36-year-old rapist from Etwatwa on Gauteng’s East Rand was sentenced to life in prison by the Benoni Regional Court after being convicted of raping a five-year-old girl.
The rapist’s name was also placed on the national register of sexual offenders by the magistrate. To protect the minor, the name of the convicted rapist has been withheld.
“The man was staying in the same yard as the victim, at a shack behind her house, after the mother of the minor offered him a place to stay when he was homeless,” said Lumka Mahanjana, Gauteng regional spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
“On July 2, 2019, while the mother was not at home, the man called the five-year-old, together with her six-year-old cousin to his shack. When the two minors got to the shack, he asked them to lie on top of the bed, but the six-year-old refused and stood at the door,” she said.
When the mother arrived later, the cousin reported the incident.
“The mother took the minor to the doctor where it was confirmed that indeed the child was raped. She then went to the police to report the matter. After investigations, the man was arrested on July 6, 2019, and has been in custody since,” said Mahanjana.
The rapist pleaded not guilty to the charges in court. “Through his attorney, he asked the court to deviate from imposing the prescribed minimum sentence, because he has two children, aged 16 and 18, that he needs to take care of,” said Mahanjana.
Prosecutor Refiloe Neluonde, on the other hand, read in court the Victim Impact Statement written by a social worker, which said that the youngster “suffered” as a result of what the man did.
“The mother had to remove the shack because it reminded the child of what had happened and made her cry. Furthermore, the mother said the man took advantage of her kindness as she took him in when he was homeless,” the court heard.
According to Neluonde, the man committed a serious offence. “Women and children constantly live in fear for their lives because of the surge of gender-based violence (GBV). Furthermore, the mother was paid by evil acts for showing kindness,” Neluonde submitted.
As a result, she requested that the court sentence her to life in prison.
Magistrate Bettina Pulane Maredi agreed with the State that the man’s crime was “serious.”
Finally, she condemned the 36-year-old man to imprisonment for life.
Meanwhile, Gauteng’s director of public prosecutions, advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi, has praised the sentencing, saying it will hopefully send a clear message that “crimes against children and women are dealt with decisively by the courts.”
Mzinyathi praised the prosecutor, Neluonde, and the investigative officer, Sergeant Kaizer Koantle Mbele, for their “good work” that resulted to the conviction and sentence.