The High Court of South Africa: sitting in Limpopo Thohoyandou Local Division, has convicted, and sentenced, a 30-year-old man, to effective life imprisonment for two counts of rape, including of a minor girl aged 12. The name of the accused is concealed to protect the identity of the child. The court heard that between September 2017 and November 2018, the accused raped a minor girl from Xibangwa village and an adult woman from Nyavani village. In the first count, the complainant was sent to fetch baking flour at the accused’s homestead as they are relatives, upon arrival, the accused dragged her into the house and raped her. After the ordeal, the complainant went home to report the matter and the accused fled the scene, he was then caught up by community members who handed him to the police.

The second incident happened when the accused was out on bail, the complainant was walking alone during the day, the accused then threatened her with a knife and dragged her into nearby bushes and raped her. The complainant then pointed out the accused to the community members, who apprehended him and called the police. The accused pleaded not guilty to the offence.

During aggravating of the sentence, the state Adv. Nnyambeni Nekhambele told the court that the accused is a heartless person, who raped women and children. He further argued that offences of this nature have become a scourge in this country. He concluded by pleading with the court to impose a life sentence. Deputy Judge President, Matsaro Semenya, remarked that there is a war against Gender-Based Violence and the only way to protect the community is to remove the perpetrators of GBV in our communities and protect women and children. The court has sentenced the accused to life and 10 years imprisonment and ordered the sentence to run concurrently with the other count. The court declared the accused unfit to possess a firearm and further declared him unsuitable to work with children.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Adv. Ivy Thenga commended Adv. Nekhambele, for ensuring that the Gender-Based-Violence perpetrator receives an appropriate sentence.

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