Durban - The Verulam Regional Court has sentenced a 41-year-old man to three terms of life imprisonment and 25 years in prison for rape, housebreaking, and robbery.
The crimes were committed in Ndwedwe in KwaZulu-Natal in November 2018.
Vusimuzi Isaac Dladla and his accomplice raped two sisters, aged 13 and 15, during the robbery after they broke into the house, armed with knives.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Natasha Kara, said only Dladla was arrested.
Describing what happened on the day of the incident, Kara said the two victims were at home alone with three other minor children while their mother attended a night church service.
She said after the men broke into the house, they demanded money and cell phones from the children.
“The other man then took one of the girls outside and raped her, thereafter, Dladla took the other girl outside and did the same,” she said.
The men fled the scene with an iPad and returned 30 minutes later and stole more items.
“Dladla then raped the girl, that his accomplice had initially raped,” she said.
Kara said the children stayed in the house until morning and then went in search of their mother and told her what had happened.
She said the police were informed and the children were taken to the Thuthuzela Care Centre, which is an NPA-led one-stop rape crisis centre based at Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, where they were provided with post-trauma services.
During the court proceedings, regional court prosecutor Ishara Sewnarayan, led the testimonies of the children, their mother and DNA evidence experts.
Kara said Sewnarayan also handed in Victim Impact Statements compiled by the children and facilitated by court preparation officer Bongiwe Qwabe.
“In their statements, the children said that they are scared of men and they are still haunted by the incident. Also, they could now not go to the reed dance like their peers, as they were no longer virgins,” she said.
Kara said the prosecutor argued that Dladla and his accomplice had acted in common purpose and the accused was sentenced to three terms of life imprisonment for each count of rape, even though his accomplice had committed one of the rapes.
“He was (also) sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for housebreaking, with intent to rob and 15 years imprisonment for robbery, with aggravating circumstances,” she said.
The court deemed Dladla unfit to possess a firearm and ordered that his name be entered into the National Register for Sex Offenders.
“The NPA welcomes this successful prosecution and we commend the work done by the prosecution and police. We hope that sentences of this nature will have the necessary deterrent effect,” said Kara.