MAN GETS 22 YEARS IMPRISONMENT FOR RAPE OF A 13-YEAR-OLD GIRL

MAN GETS 22 YEARS IMPRISONMENT FOR RAPE OF A 13-YEAR-OLD GIRL

The Bloemfontein Regional Court has sentenced a 35-year-old man to a term of 22 years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to rape of 13-year-old girl. Magistrate Mxolisi Saliwa sentenced Poloko David Motsukunyane after he pleaded guilty to rape that took place on 29 January 2023.

The victim and her friend were walking home in Dewetsdorp when the accused, who was a shepherd, and tending to livestock at the time, chased after the two girls. He caught the complainant and raped her. He threatened to kill her should she report the matter to anyone.

The victim did not report the matter when she arrived home, but community members heard of the incident, hunted the accused and assaulted him. Police intervened and accused was taken for medical attention. The complainant was also sent to Tshepong Thuthuzela Care Centre for medical examination.

Motsukunyane pleaded guilty to a charge of rape and in mitigation, his legal representative argued for a lesser sentence stating that the accused has been in custody for eight months and he pleaded guilty, thereby saving the victim from further trauma of testifying in court and having to relive the incident.

However, the State Prosecutor, Advocate Louis York, in aggravation of sentence read into the record, the Victim Impact Statement facilitated by Maggie Faas in which the victim stated that the incident has changed her life in that she is now afraid of men and cannot sleep at night. She further stated that the incident has affected her school performance negatively.

Magistrate Mxolisi Saliwa said that the accused pleading guilty was a sign of remorse, but it was not sufficient ground to hand down a lesser sentence and accordingly handed the accused a sentence of 22-year direct imprisonment as there were no substantial and compelling circumstances justifying a lesser sentence.

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