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Mbombela - Two Mpumalanga pupils who pleaded guilty to statutory rape were sentenced to four years imprisonment, suspended for five years, by the Nelspruit Regional Court on Wednesday, a Sapa correspondent reported.
Ricardo Vuyo, 19, a Grade 11 pupil at the Mahlathi High School in Buffelspruit, and his schoolmate Thandwa Nkosi, 20, a Grade 10 pupil, had consensual sex with a 13-year-old girl at Nkosi's home in Buffelspruit on July 12 last year.
“I met the girl at Nhlanhla's Tavern in Buffelspruit on that day. After drinking liquor with the girl, I left with her to Nkosi's home,” Vuyo said in an affidavit.
“After we entered the room, I undressed myself and she did the same and we had sex. I admit it was wrongful to have sex with a minor and I knew she was younger than 16-years and older than 12-years,” he said.
Nkosi also made an affidavit admitting to his involvement in the crime.
Magistrate Willie Wilkens told the two that the court was satisfied with their guilty pleas.
“The court has accepted your pleas and that both of you have no previous convictions. Both of you are scholars and have no dependants, but this does not mean you will go free,” he said.
Wilkens said the act on such an offence against girls under 16-years-old was passed by government to prevent them from getting pregnant.
“If these young girls fall pregnant and are in school, their schooling will be destroyed. Courts must therefore impose sentences not only deter you only, but also others with similar thoughts of having sex with minors.
“They may not think they will get away easily. Courts must protect these young girls. If the complainant never agreed to have sex with both of you, you should be faced with life imprisonment,” Wilkens said.
He said Vuyo and Nkosi's names would be placed on the national register of sexual offenders, and that they would be declared unfit to work with children.
“You must inform your future employers about this conviction. If you fail, you will be ordered to pay a fine of R140,000 or serve seven years in prison. Stay away from such offences,” Wilkens told them. -Sapa