11-year-old a willing partner: courtComment on this story
Pretoria - The life sentence of a man who repeatedly raped an 11-year-old girl he regarded as “a daughter” was reduced on appeal by the High Court in Pretoria because she seemed to be a willing partner, the Citizen reported on Saturday.
Molefe Joseph Mphanama's life sentence was replaced with an effective sentence of 20 years imprisonment for his conviction on four rape charges.
Two judges said the girl had visited Mphanama out of her own free will after the first rape and her unwillingness to have sex was only shown when she closed her thighs, according to the report.
On one occasion the girl reportedly asked her mother to allow her to go to his house and spend the rest of the week with him.
During the trial, the State argued that Mphanama groomed the girl over time. The court, at the time, dismissed the argument that the girl had consented to sex because she was only 11, which in terms of legislation meant she was unable to consent.
According to the report, there was reportedly no evidence that she had experienced any negative psychological symptoms for the rape.