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Pietermaritzburg - A high court judge has decried the practice sometimes of the Department of Correctional Services releasing violent offenders, only for them to commit similar offences again.
“This practice is to be deprecated,” Judge Rishi Seegobin said on Wednesday in sentencing Pietermaritzburg murderer and rapist Gerald Rosselloty to two life terms.
He ordered that a copy of his judgment be forwarded to the department, lest officials consider releasing Rosselloty without having “properly applied their minds to the gravity of the offences and the suffering of the victims involved”.
The type of abuse Rosselloty had afflicted on his victims would not be tolerated, Seegobin said. “The accused’s actions are indicative of a calculated bloody-mindedness that had a devastating long-term impact on the people around him.”
The mother of Nokwazi Ntuli, the 28-year-old woman who met her grisly end at the hands of Rosselloty, her boyfriend at the time, heaved a sigh of relief as he was sent to jail for life.
Busisiwe Madondo said she was happy that justice had been done.
“My child’s soul can rest in peace. The law has spoken and he (Rosselloty) must pay for the sins he has committed.”
Seegobin, sitting with two assessors, sentenced Rosselloty, 39, to two life terms for the murder of Ntuli on the night of April 16, 2010, as well as for the rape of a six-year-old girl who was in his care on September 2, 2006.
The child was so badly injured after the rape that she had to undergo surgery and extensive counselling.
Rosselloty stood stony-faced in the dock as he was sentenced to a further 15 years imprisonment for arson, after setting fire to the simplex he lived in at Callanish Gardens in Hilton on the day of the murder.
He had pleaded not guilty to all the charges, maintaining his innocence throughout the trial. However, after being convicted on Tuesday, Rosselloty broke down and admitted to Ntuli’s murder and apologised to her family for the pain he put them through.
Rosselloty claimed that he had unintentionally killed Ntuli after a drunken argument. He later wrapped her body in a mattress, placed it in the back of his bakkie and drove to an empty field about 2km away from the simplex. There he dumped her body and set it alight. He then returned to his simplex and set it on fire.
In a scathing judgment, Seegobin said rape and murder were the most serious crimes a person could commit, and that the aggravating features in this case were that both Rosselloty’s victims were young, vulnerable, defenceless women.
“The child was six at the time she was raped. It is not hard to imagine the pain and fear she had experienced at the time,” he said. “The rape on her was perpetrated with such callousness that it has had a devastating effect on her life, so much so that she still receives counselling and struggles to cope at school.”
Referring to Ntuli, Seegobin said she was a young woman snuffed out in the prime of her life. Her only crime was that she could not stay away from Rosselloty. - Daily News