A 33-year-old Mpumalanga man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a mentally-ill 15-year-old girl who is his relative. File Picture
A 33-year-old Mpumalanga man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a mentally-ill 15-year-old girl who is his relative. File Picture

Convicted rapist told court he had consensual sex with mentally-ill 15-year-old relative

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Oct 14, 2021

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Pretoria –A 33-year-old man from Thusi Village in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a mentally impaired 15-year-old.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Mpumalanga provincial spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said the man sentenced by the Ermelo Regional Court was the girl’s brother-in-law.

“Before the rape incident, the accused asked for a bedroom to sleep with the victim from the victim’s nephew, which did not materialise. Then on March 15, 2020, the man and the young girl attended a family function,” said Nyuswa.

At the family function, the man asked the teenager to meet him at the Emadamini road, and the girl complied.

“When she arrived, the man dragged her into the veld and forcefully raped her. She did not report the ordeal to anyone because she was afraid – until her mother noticed her strange behaviour and confronted her. This led to the arrest of the man,” said Nyuswa.

In court, the 33-year-old man pleaded not guilty, and claimed that the teenager had consented to the sexual intercourse.

“He said the girl told him that she was 18 years of age and (he) was unaware of her mental condition. However, the state prosecutor, Chanè Rothman, led the evidence of the victim who testified through an intermediary,” said Nyuswa.

“Her brother testified that he saw the accused dragging his sister into the veld. The fact that the victim was mentally disabled was supported by the evidence of a clinical psychologist who evaluated the victim and found that her mental capacity was that of a 10-year-old.”

A medical report confirming injuries was handed in as well as DNA results which linked the accused to the rape, Nyuswa added.

The prosecutor handed the court a victim impact statement in which the 15-year-old explained how the ordeal had affected her life, adding that she no longer trusted people.

“The court rejected the accused’s version and convicted him of rape of a mentally disabled person. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, declared unfit to work with children and the court further ordered his name to be entered into the National Register for Sex Offenders,” said Nyuswa.

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