A North West man was sentenced to life in prison for raping an 11-year-old girl on two separate occasions in Verdwaal, near Itsoseng.
The Itsoseng Regional Court sentenced Matshidiso Adam Kobe, 30, to life imprisonment for raping an 11-year-old girl on two separate occasions.
The court further declared him unfit to possess a firearm and ordered his name to be included in the national register of sexual offenders.
His conviction emanates from an incident that occurred on February 20, 2021, at Verdwaal, near Itsoseng, wherein the child was playing in a neighbour’s yard where the accused lived.
"The accused then sent the girl to his shack to get cigarettes and subsequently followed her and raped her," NPA regional spokesperson Henry Mamothame said.
"After the ordeal, he gave the child a cellphone and instructed her not to tell anyone about the incident," Mamothame said.
Mamothame further added that the evidence presented in court further revealed that the day after the incident, the child was again playing with a friend in the same yard, and after the friend had left, he then sent the child to his shack, where he followed her and raped her again.
"Later at home, the child’s grandmother noticed a strange behaviour, as the child could not sit properly.
"Upon inquiry, the child revealed both incidents, and she was taken for medical examination,where it was confirmed that she had been violated," he said.
Mamothame said that the matter was reported to the police, who arrested the accused on February 21, 2021. The court denied him bail, and he pleaded not guilty to the offences.
In aggravation of the sentence, the state prosecutor, Itumeleng Boikanyo, read the Victim Impact Statement, which cited the mental, emotional, and physical trauma caused by the incident to the victim.
He urged the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment, as there were no compelling circumstances to consider.
Magistrate Ndade Maphango agreed with the state and remarked on the responsibility the courts have in imposing harsher sentences on perpetrators of such offences.
The Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West, Dr Rachel Makhari, lauded Boikanyo and Constable Tshekiso Jantjie Tau from the SAPS for their collaboration in bringing the perpetrator to book.
Mkhari further called for strong advocacy for the protection of children and the most vulnerable members of society.