FAMILY FRIEND SENTENCED TO LIFE FOR RAPING A MINOR
Nelspruit: 06 May 2023 – On Friday, 05 May 2023, the Emalahleni Regional Court has sentenced a 30-year-old man from Phola to life imprisonment for the rape of a minor who was nine-years-old in 2017. On the day of the incident, it is said that a family friend went to the victim’s guardian and invited the victim as well as her younger brother under the pretext that they were going to attend his child’s party at his residence.
The accused then went to pick them up from their homestead. Upon their arrival at the party, the accused dropped off the victim’s younger brother and requested the victim to accompany him to buy some drinks at the shop. Along the way, the accused took a different direction where he drove with the victim and stopped the vehicle next to a shack near the bushes. He went inside with the victim and after locking the door, he raped her then drove back to pick up the younger brother after threatening to kill the victim if she reports the incident. Thereafter it is said that the accused dropped the siblings at their homestead.
The gruesome incident was concealed until in 2019 when social workers visited the victim’s school to address children about social ills that are happening around them. That was when the victim broke her silence and reported the ordeal that she was raped. Police were then alerted whereby a rape case was opened. The docket was assigned to the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) and after an investigation was conducted, the accused was arrested as well as charged accordingly.
In court, the accused denied the allegation levelled against him however the evidence presented by the Prosecution team convinced the court that the victim was indeed raped. The state further succeeded in the endeavour to get a maximum sentence for the accused in order to make an impact in the scourge of Gender-Based-Violence hence he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has welcomed the sentence and thanked the Investigation team, the Prosecution team and the Judiciary. The General further hoped that the sentence will serve as a deterrence to others who might consider emulating the actions of the accused.