The violence shown by the Phoenix truck driver who abducted, repeatedly raped and assaulted a six-year-old girl defied logic.
This was the view of magistrate Siphiwe Hlophe, who made the comment during the sentencing of the child’s attacker, Arumugam Moonsamy Naidoo, 38, in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Naidoo abducted the girl on March 10 while she was on her way home from school in Montclair, and took her to a bed in his truck where he raped her.
Once he had finished doing this, he slapped her face twice, took her out of the truck, and tied her hands with plastic. He then bound her mouth and hit her on the head with a brick, before driving off in his truck.
Lawyer CS Lushaba told the packed courtroom that his client could not control his actions because he was stressed.
“He knew what he was doing, as he has pleaded guilty,” he said.
Hlophe said the offence was an “extremely serious” one.
“He pleaded guilty to all the charges. This is usually a sign of remorse, where the accused takes the court fully into his confidence. However, the court views the crime of rape in very serious light,” he said.
Rape was an offence that was prevalent in KwaZulu-Natal, and was associated with aggression and violence, Hlophe said.
“In this case, the magnitude and extent of the sexual assault on this young girl was malicious, brutal and viciously motivated. The accused unleashed demonstrable violence of disturbing proportions… the girl was only six years old,” he said.
A description by Hlophe of how Naidoo hurt the child had people in the public gallery in tears.
He told the court that the incident had had an impact on the child’s family. The girl’s mother had lost her appetite, could hardly sleep, found it hard to cope, and had contemplated suicide.
“The child is absent-minded. She now sits alone and does not play with other children. She is scared of Indian people. This incident will have some effect on this little girl’s life as she grows up,” he said.
Hlophe said the devastating effect of rape on young victims was that they became psychologically handicapped, as they perceived themselves to be second-class citizens who had lost self-esteem, respect and integrity.
When Hlophe asked what had driven Naidoo to commit the crime, the explanation given by Lushaba was that Naidoo was “stressed” after police took away his belongings outside a bar in an earlier incident. This was what apparently drove him to committing the offence.
Naidoo was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for the abduction, life imprisonment for the rape, and 10 years’ jail time for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
The sentences will run concurrently.
Naidoo’s name is to be added to the national sexual offenders register. He is also not allowed to own a gun.