File picture: Pixabay

Eshowe - The Eshowe Regional Court has sentenced Phumlani "Mtoto" Xulu, 23, to life imprisonment for raping a 13-year-old girl in the KwaYanguye area in Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Saturday.

"On 15 September 2017, the victim was going to fetch water at KwaYanguye area with other children," Colonel Thembeka Mbele said.

"While they were passing through the forest, Xulu came from behind and he walked passed them. He suddenly turned and proposed love to the victim. When she refused, he got angry and threatened all the children. He then ordered the two boys to sleep with the girls. They refused and ran away, leaving the victim behind, who was already grabbed by Xulu."

The children met a bus driver and informed him about the incident. They took him to the scene where Xulu was found raping the victim, and the perpetrator ran away when he saw the bus driver.

The bus driver took the victim, who had also been severely assaulted, to the local police station to report the incident. A case of rape was opened at the Melmoth police station and it was assigned to the Eshowe family violence, child protection, and sexual offences unit for investigation.

"An investigating officer assigned to the case arrested the accused the following day. Xulu was charged and kept into custody throughout the trial until he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment," Mbele said.

African News Agency (ANA)