On Tuesday, the Piet Retief Regional Court convicted and sentenced Jotham Simangaliso Vilakazi (50) from Phola Park to double life terms for the rape of an 11-year-old victim.
The spokesperson of the national prosecuting authority (NPA) in Mpumalanga Monica Nyuswa said the sentence came 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 borrowed.
“Upon her arrival at his house, Vilakazi closed the door and raped her. He then threatened the victim that if she reports him he will do the same to her 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“The victim’s mother later noticed that the complainant was behaving unusual as she lost appetite, was forgetful and withdrawn.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. The matter was reported to the police and Vilakazi was arrested,” Nyuswa said.
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 a medical report which confirmed that the victim was sexually abused.
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.
“The court found no compelling and substantial factors for not imposing a 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 NPA welcomes the sentence,” Nyuswa said.
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