The Verulam Regional Court sentenced a 21 -year-old man to life imprisonment for the rape of his 15-year-old relative in August 2021. The accused lived in the same house as the boy and the boy’s sister and mother. The boy is mentally and physically disabled and is unable to speak or take care of himself and relies on his mother for assistance and care. On the day of the incident, the accused was alone at home with the boy. When the boy’s younger sister came home, she saw her brother lying on his stomach on the bed with the accused standing naked behind him. Even though she walked away, she reported what she had seen to her mother when her mother got back home. The mother examined the boy and suspected that he was anally penetrated.

The accused fled to the Eastern Cape and was arrested a month later. The boy was taken to the Phoenix Thuthuzela Care Centre (TCC), where he received the necessary support.

In court, Prosecutor Ishara Sewnarayan led the testimonies of the boy’s sister, his mother, and a medical doctor. Sewnarayan also handed in a Victim Impact Statement compiled by the boy’s mother and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer Bongiwe Qwabe, wherein the mother said that although her son is not able to speak out his emotions, he has nightmares. She also said that she trusted the accused when she allowed him to stay with them. In conjunction with the life sentence, the court ordered that the accused’s name be entered into the National Register for sex offenders.

The NPA welcomes this successful prosecution, and we hope that sentences of this nature will have the necessary deterrent effect.

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