Mbombela - An Mpumalanga man was jailed for life on Thursday for raping his niece twice at gunpoint and robbing her of her cellphone.
The 31-year-old accused, who cannot be named to protect her identity, was arrested on October 14, 2010, after his 16-year-old niece opened a rape case against him on September 29, 2010, a Sapa correspondent reported.
The man, from Schoemansdal, had pleaded not guilty to the two rape charges and one of armed robbery.
During argument in mitigation of sentencing in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Thursday, the man apologised to the court and his family but still defended his actions.
“The court should know that although the victim disputed the sex was consensual, we had an agreement to do it. I want the court to also know that I am suffering from tuberculosis and have been taking medication since 2010,” he said
“When passing sentence, I request the court to take into consideration that I am not a well person.”
Prosecutor Magda Marais said the accused still showed no remorse because he insisted the victim was lying.
Magistrate Andre Geldenhuys said crimes of this nature were prevalent in Mpumalanga and most victims were raped by family members.
The magistrate said the accused has been found guilty on very serious crimes of raping and robbing a minor at gunpoint.
“You violated her constitutional right and took away her dignity. You should have respected her body and that she was still a minor.”
Geldenhuys sentenced the uncle to life imprisonment on two rape counts and 15 years for armed robbery. The sentences will run concurrently.