A Mpumalanga man who raped his 25-year-old female friend in Pienaar has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The Nelspruit Sexual Offences Court convicted and sentenced a 38-year-old man from Pienaar to 10 years imprisonment for the rape of his female friend.
On August 25, 2019, the accused was travelling with a group of known friends, including the victim and her boyfriend, from Nelspruit to Pienaar.
"The victim requested the male friend to keep her personal belongings inside his bag for safekeeping," said NPA regional spokesperson Monica Nyuswa.
"After she alighted in a taxi, she realised that she had forgotten her bag and went to the accused’s house to trace it.
"Upon her arrival at the accused house, the accused raped her before giving her the bag. While the victim was trying to escape, she fell outside and injured her leg," Nyuswa said.
Nyuswa further added that the victim reported the rape ordeal to her friends, who were part of the journey, and her boyfriend.
"The matter was reported to the police and the accused was subsequently arrested," Nyuswa said.
In court, he denied the allegation and claimed that the sexual intercourse was consensual. State Prosecutor Magda Marais relied on the evidence of the victim, their friends, her boyfriend, and her mother.
Medical evidence and the evidence of the arresting officer were also led. The court found their evidence credible, and the accused was found guilty.
In arguing for a firm sentence, Prosecutor Marais argued about the scourge of gender-based violence in society and its impact.
Magistrate Vanessa Joubert took into consideration the accused’s circumstances, the interest of justice, and the seriousness of the offence the accused was convicted of.
"She sentenced the accused to 10 years imprisonment," Nyuswa said.
Nyuswa also added that the NPA will continue to strive for justice for vulnerable women and children in our society.