The Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a life imprisonment sentence on Monday of a man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in 2004.
The man, who was known to the victim, met the girl and two friends playing on a street on 1 January 2004.
During a short conversation the rapist grabbed the girl and dragged her to a bush.
One of girl’s friends tried to intervene and asked him what he was doing. The man pelted the two girl friends with stones until they ran away.
The 24-year-old man then raped the victim three times before taking her to his home where she stayed with his sister.
The next day, the girl told her mother about the rape and the girl was taken to the Thabazimbi hospital to be examined.
The man was convicted of rape in the Modimolle Regional Court sitting in Polokwane in September 2007.
On appeal in the high court the man argued that, given his personal circumstances, the high court should have found that substantial and compelling circumstances existed for a lesser sentence.
The SCA rejected this and held that the gravity of the crime coupled with various factors rendered the life imprisonment sentence proportionate to the crime.
The factors included the complainant being a child, who was brazenly abducted from a street, raped more than once and held against her will at the rapist’s home for the whole night. - Sapa