PRETORIA – A 44-year-old man from KwaNgema, in Mpumalanga, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court after he was convicted of raping a 16-year-old mentally disabled minor, who is his neighbour.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Mpumalanga provincial spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said on the night of December 24, 2019, the 44-year-old and the teenager attended a traditional ceremony at KwaNgema in Piet Retief where the man was operating as a DJ.
“The accused offered to take the minor neighbour home after the ceremony. He then lured the victim to an open veld, ordered her to undress and proceeded to rape her,” Nyuswa said.
The minor reported the ordeal to her family and the case was opened which resulted in the arrest of the DJ.
“The victim testified through the intermediary and told the court that the rape happened after everybody left the ceremony. The medical evidence was presented in court as part of the state’s case. The clinical psychologist also presented evidence that showed that the victim suffered from a severe mental disability,” said Nyuswa.
In aggravation of sentence, the regional court prosecutor, Marlin Cairncross presented oral evidence to the court with the victim impact statement which showed that the incident impacted physically and psychologically on the victim.
“In its judgment, the court found that the collaborative evidence placed before it was credible. It then found the accused guilty as charged,” Nyuswa said.
“The court found no mitigation factors to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life, he was further declared unfit to work with children and was declared unfit to possess a firearm.”
The NPA has reiterated its condemnation of violence perpetrated against women, children and people living with disabilities.