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Man may get life for teen forced marriage

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IOL ca p7 Mvuleni Jezile done

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Mvuleni Jezile leaves the Wynberg Magistrates Court. Picture: Leon Lestrade

Cape Town - Abducted and forced into marriage before being raped several times – this is what happened to a 14-year-old girl at the hands of a Philippi man.

On Monday morning – more than two years after the girl’s ordeal – Mvuleni Jezile, who was convicted for sexually assaulting the Eastern Cape teenager, is due to be sentenced in the Western Cape’s first case of ukuthwala: the traditional practice of kidnapping a young woman in an attempt to force marriage negotiations.

During earlier court proceedings, it emerged that the 30-year-old man had married the pupil in the Eastern Cape without her or her mother’s consent.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the marriage had been arranged between the girl’s uncle, grandmother and her rapist’s family in 2011.

The court was told Jezile had tried to have sex with the girl, but she refused. He beat her with sticks then threw her into a taxi bound for the Western Cape.

Once there, he held her hostage at his home in Brown’s Farm where he raped her several times.

During his first court appearance in the Wynberg Regional Court in February 2012, Jezile pleaded not guilty before magistrate Delena Grewenstein.

But he was convicted in November, after he was found guilty on six counts including three cases of rape, human trafficking and assault.

Not only will the sentencing be the first of its kind in the Western Cape, but it will also be the second successful prosecution in a human trafficking case in the province, Ntabazalila said.

He is expected to receive a life sentence.

kieran.legg@inl.co.za

Cape Argus


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