The Pretoria North Magistrates’ Court sentenced a 28-year-old man from Akasia to life imprisonment for rape of his 12-year-old sister in-law.

The victim had visited her sister in Akasia where she was staying with her boyfriend. On 01 July 2021, the older sister was not feeling well, the boyfriend and the victim accompanied her to the clinic in Soshanguve. When they got to the clinic the boyfriend and the victim were not allowed inside because of covid restrictions. While waiting outside the man asked the young girl to walk with him to a nearby veld where he undressed, raped and threaten her not to tell anyone.

When the sister was done at the clinic, they walked back to her house. When they arrived the young girl then took her staff and went back home in the same area. When she arrived home, she told her mother what had happened. The mother took her to the police station where they reported the matter.

After investigations by the police, the man was arrested on 03 November 2021 and has been in custody since. In court he pleaded not guilty to the charges. Instead, he told the court that the sexual intercourse was consensual. However, the state prosecutor Advocate Thamsanqa Given Twala was able to dispel that evidence and proved that the man indeed raped the girl. Furthermore, Twala told the court that rape is a prevalent crime in the country and rape of minor children has become a pandemic in our society. The man was trusted by the girl, instead he broke that trust. He also read into the record the victim impact statement, where the mother of the child stated that the school marks of the victim dropped after the incidents. Therefore, Twala asked the court not to deviate from imposing the applicable minimum sentence.

When handing down the sentence magistrate Wessel said the future of our country lies in the hands of our children and a society that does not care for the children is a dead society as such, it was up to the courts to protect the rights of children. Therefore, the magistrate agreed with the state and said he did not find any substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed sentence. In his view the only suitable sentence under the circumstances was life imprisonment

The Director of Public Prosecutions Sibongile Mzinyathi welcomes the sentence and wants to assure the community that the NPA takes offences committed against children seriously. He also applauds the work of the investigating officer of Ga-Rankuwa FCS Constable Tsholofelo Chiloane which enabled the NPA to secure a conviction and the sentence.

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