Pretoria - The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court has sentenced Pretoria Hotel rapist Amos Khumalo to life plus eight years’ imprisonment for violating two minor girls.
The family of the victims, aged 13 and 11, who Khumalo was found guilty of rape and attempted rape, said they were relieved that their two-year wait for justice had finally materialised.
A family representative said they were happy with the sentence and had been hoping that Khumalo received life for what he had put the children through, especially for taking away their innocence.
Handing down judgment, the presiding magistrate said he had taken into consideration all the merits of the case as well as the arguments by the State and the defence counsel.
He said in coming to an appropriate sentence, he was convinced that there were no compelling circumstances that warranted a deviation from the prescribed minimum sentence for the rape of a minor under the age of 16.
The magistrate said by its very nature rape was a reprehensible act.
It was a serious offence constituting a humiliating, degrading and brutal invasion of privacy that stripped away the dignity of the victim to which they were entitled as per the Constitution.
As an adult, Khumalo had the responsibility to protect the little girls from any harm and he was supposed to have taken them safely home, the magistrate said.
Instead, he said, Khumalo opted to rape the 13-year-old.
And as if that was not enough, he attempted to penetrate the younger girl, who was only 11 years old at the time.
“He did these appalling acts without regard for the victims’ feelings and with the full knowledge that these were children.
“His conduct was utterly reprehensible,” the magistrate said.
“The fact that he went to book a hotel room also shows a measure of planning as he had to decide on the number of rooms and by his own account he even had time to go to the nearby garage to purchase cold drinks.”
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said they welcomed the sentence.
Mahanjana said they hoped that the sentence would send a strong message to people who intended committing such crimes that such offences would not be tolerated and that the perpetrators would be prosecuted.
The life imprisonment as well as eight years are to run concurrently.
Khumalo forcefully took the two minor girls from Lotus Gardens in Atteridgeville in November 2020. He then went to a liquor outlet in Pretoria West.
He proceeded to the Pretoria Hotel, where he raped one of the girls and attempted to rape the other.
The children were eventually rescued after the youngest victim managed to escape from the hotel room naked and alerted other guests.
A video of the blood-stained Khumalo slumped in a chair being questioned by hotel staff regarding his actions went viral on the day of the incident.