Man gets 22 years for attack on lesbian

By Time of article published Nov 27, 2013

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Xolani Koyana

ANDILE Ngcoza, the man who raped a lesbian to “show her she was a woman”, will spend the next two decades in prison.

He was sentenced to 22 years in jail at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Ngcoza was convicted in 2011 for the rape of Millicent Gaika, a lesbian woman from Gugulethu. He pulled Gaika into a shack on April 2, 2010 and said he would show her she was a woman by impregnating her.

Sentencing was initially scheduled for December 2011 but Ngcoza was not in custody at the time. He was rearrested in September, nearly two years after he was found guilty.

Yesterday, Magistrate Melinda Retief said Ngcoza had not shown any remorse for his crime and there was no evidence before the court for her to impose a lighter sentence.

He could not be trusted by women and men because of his previous convictions.

Retief was referring to a list of previous convictions, including sodomy and double rape, mentioned by prosecutor Alicia Meredith in aggravation of Ngcoza’s sentence.

Meredith said Ngcoza had three previous sexual offence convictions – he had been convicted of rape twice in 1988 and of sodomy in 1982.

There were also convictions for possession of dagga and housebreaking, both in the 1980s. Meredith said Ngcoza had been granted parole in 1997 for the 1988 rape but had been rearrested after violating the conditions of his parole.

She also submitted a report by a social worker on the psychological impact the rape had had on Gaika, which indicated she had suffered severe emotional trauma as a result.

Gaika had nightmares and the attack had “driven her to alcohol abuse”. She had nearly committed suicide last year.

Earlier, in a written submission in court in mitigation of sentence, which was read out by Ngcoza’s attorney, he said there had been a family crisis in the Eastern Cape regarding an initiation of a nephew.

He had returned in February this year but forgot he had a court date, Ngcoza wrote.

Despite being convicted and sentenced for the rape, Ngcoza still maintains his innocence and claims he was in a relationship with Gaika.

Outside the courtroom, Gaika hugged Meredith and activists from lesbian advocacy group Free Gender who supported her through the trial.

Gaika said: “It feels great. I feel great. He got the years that I was hoping and expected he would get. I think I will finally get peace.”

Free Gender chairperson Funeka Soldaat said the sentence would serve as a warning that “you can’t just mess with people’s lives and think you can get away with it”.

“This is a victory for Milicent. It is a victory for all of us who have been victims of rape because of our sexuality,” Soldaat said.

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