The Alexandra Magistrates’ Court sentenced a 22-year-old man Dale Mbhuri Mhlongo, to two terms of life imprisonment for raping an eight-year-old girl twice, and six years for compelling children aged 11 and four, to witness sexual assault and causing them to watch pornography. The offences occurred in 2021,  at Mhlongo’s place and at the complainant’s home when the parents of the three siblings left them under his care. He pounced on the girl when she was busy taking off her school uniform. He at some stage instructed the 11-year-old to hold the girl’s mouth from screaming when he penetrated her. At that stage, the 4-year-old was in the room watching everything. The incidents were reported to the aunt of the minor girl when she visited her during school holidays, who in turn informed the mother and the police were summoned.

 The Control Prosecutor Percy Ramushu, argued that the prevalence of minors being exposed to pornography and the level of sexual violence against them, represents a grave challenge that demands law enforcement and the judiciary’s concerted action, to promote the well-being and safety of children. He indicated that he had difficulty consulting with the complainant and had to befriend her to gain her trust to be able to share her ordeal. He asked the court to impose the prescribed sentence which is life imprisonment and Magistrate Hannelie Banks concurred with him. The pre-sentence report together with the victim impact statements also called for direct imprisonment although the attorney for the accused called for 10 years imprisonment citing that the accused is still young and has a future ahead of him.

The NPA will continue fostering a safer environment for children by prosecuting perpetrators of such devastating crimes as we are alive to the fact that the consequences of these crimes are long-lasting and go beyond physical harm. We continue to advocate against the normalisation of child exploitation and abuse and commend Ramushu and Sergeant Mapule Phukungwane for adding value to this valuable course. 

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