An accused Xolani Plaaitjie (37), has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the De Aar Regional Court, after having been convicted on one count of rape. On 10 March 2023, the complainant was walking home from a tavern when the accused accosted her and dragged her into a toilet. The accused proceeded to have sexual intercourse with her against her will. The friend witnessed what happening and managed to rescue the victim. The matter was reported to the police, and the accused was arrested. During his bail application, the prosecution successfully opposed his bail, and he was remanded in custody until the finalisation of the case.

During the trial, the accused argued that the victim was his girlfriend, and the statement was refuted by the eyewitness. The witness testified that the victim was crying for help before she was rescued. In aggravation of the sentence, the State Advocate Tevaughnay Van Wyk, maintained that the court should not deviate from the apt sentence of a life sentence, as the accused had shown no remorse, and that the accused was a repeat offender as he had a previous conviction for rape. The prosecutor further argued that it would be in the best interest of the community if he was sentenced to life imprisonment. The courts should send a clear message to perpetrators of GBVF, that the courts will not tolerate sexual violence against our women, children, and vulnerable persons.

In sentencing, the court found the accused guilty and he was sentenced to life imprisonment as he had a previous conviction for rape. The conviction and sentence confirm the commitment of the National Prosecuting Authority in the fight against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) to ensure that the citizenry can continue to live in freedom and security within their communities.

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