The Fraserburg Regional Court in the Upington Cluster sentenced a 31-year-old man to life imprisonment after he was charged with rape accompanied by the infliction of grievous bodily harm(GBH) and robbery with aggravating circumstances of his maternal aunt (his mother’s sister). On the night of this incident 17 December 2020, the accused was staying with the complainant(his aunt), arrived home at night and found the victim already in bed. The accused went to the victim’s room where he began to assault and strangle the complainant until she lost consciousness. When the accused realised that the victim had lost consciousness, he proceeded to rape her. After raping the victim, the accused took the victim’s cellphone and cash and left the house.

The victim later regained consciousness and went to the neighbour’s house to look for help and the police were called. The accused was subsequently arrested and charged with rape and robbery. During the trial, the court heard how the victim had assisted with the upbringing of the accused and the role she played in the life of the accused. Not only did she assist with his nurturing, but also ensured that the accused had shelter by accommodating him at her home in Fraserburg.

In aggravation of sentence, Regional Court Prosecutor Solly Sass argued that rape should be seen as a cancer in our society and that women and children must be protected by our courts and what made this case even worse was that the accused raped his aunt, his mother’s sister. He should have been the one protecting her, not the perpetrator of such a crime on his aunt. The prosecution argued further that the court should impose the sentence of life imprisonment for the rape as the accused showed no remorse for his actions.

The accused had two previous convictions of rape and the state therefore submitted that there were no substantial and compelling factors for the court to deviate from the minimum sentence of life imprisonment. In sentencing, the Fraserburg Regional Court agreed with the prosecution, and the accused was sentenced to life imprisonment for rape and 15 years imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances. The court also declared the accused unfit to possess a firearm.

The National Prosecuting Authority applauds the work of the team in ensuring that the accused was sentenced to an appropriate sentence of life imprisonment, as GBV particularly Gender-Based violence continues to be a pandemic that is ravaging our communities.

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