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Pretoria – The Piet Retief Regional Court has convicted and sentenced a Mpumalanga man, 50-year-old Jotham Simangaliso Vilakazi from Phola Park, to double life terms for rape of an 11-year-old victim.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Mpumalanga provincial spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said Vilakazi was sentenced on Tuesday for crimes he committed in 2018 and 2019.
“This sentence comes after the victim told the court that during 2018 and 2019 respectively, Vilakazi lured her to his house under the pretext that she must collect her mother`s money which he had borrowed. Upon her arrival at his house, Vilakazi closed the door and raped her,” said Nyuswa.
He then threatened the little girl that if she reports him, he would also rape the 11-year-old’s younger sister.
“The victim’s mother later noticed that the complainant was behaving unusual as she lost appetite, was forgetful and withdrawn. This prompted the mother to request the intervention of a friend who was a principal traditional healer who examined the victim and noticed signs of sexual abuse,” said Nyuswa.
The matter was reported to the South African Police Service and Vilakazi was arrested.
“In court, the defence denied that Vilakazi committed the offence but did not dispute that the victim was raped. The State Advocate, Marlin Cairncross presented medical report which confirmed that the victim was sexually abused,” said Nyuswa.
Cairncross contended that the evidence overwhelmingly pointed at Vilakazi as the perpetrator.
“The court accepted the state’s argument and found the victim’s testimony honest and credible. A Victim Impact Report which revealed that the victim suffered both psychological and emotional abuse was also handed in,” said Nyuswa.
“The court found no compelling and substantial factors for not imposing mandatory prescribed sentence. Vilakazi was sentenced to life imprisonment on each count. The court ordered both sentences to run concurrently, the effective sentence being life.”
The National Prosecuting Authority has welcomed the sentence.
African News Agency (ANA)