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27-year-old sentenced to life for raping disabled 14-year-old girl

A 27-year-old man from Ga-Tamatis has been found guilty of raping a disabled 14-year-old girl, and was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Lebowakgomo regional court.

The man, whose name has been withheld to protect the identity of the victim, was well known to the girl.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said the incident took place in Limpopo in 2016.

“The man, a well-known person to the victim, called her to his bedroom while she was playing with his younger brother. The man undressed her and raped her in front of her sibling. When he finished, he released them.

“The brother reported the ordeal to an uncle when they returned home. The matter was reported to the police and the girl was taken to hospital,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.

Upon examination, rape was confirmed and the man was arrested.

“The complainant was physically challenged as she could not use her right hand and was limping,” Malabi-Dzhangi said.

The 27-year-old accused pleaded guilty.

“The victim impact assessment report compiled by a social worker  was submitted to the court to demonstrate the impact the rape had on the girl and her family,” Malabi-Dzhangi said.

During aggravation of sentence proceedings, prosecutor Bertha Kotsedi said the girl will live with the memory of the rape for the rest of her life.

“She said the victim was not only 14-years-old but was also physically challenged and unable to defend herself against the man, who knew her condition but took advantage of her situation,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.

He said Kotsedi asked the court to sentence the rapist to life imprisonment.

“The court agreed with the state and imposed life imprisonment,” Malabi-Dzhangi said.

The director of public prosecutions in Limpopo, advocate Ivy Thenga, welcomed the sentence and commended the prosecutor and investigation team.

“I hope the sentence would send a strong message that gender-based violence (GBV) will not be tolerated within our society,” she said.

TimesLIVE

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