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Mpumalanga man sentenced to life imprisonment for raping mentally impaired woman

Kenneth Albert Sithole (36) from Kwa-Thandeka in Amsterdam,  Mpumalanga, was on Wednesday sentenced to life imprisonment by the Piet Retief Regional Court for raping a 20-year-old mentally impaired woman.

The spokesperson of the national prosecuting authority (NPA) in Mpumalanga Monica Nyuswa said Sithole had pleaded guilty to the charge of rape before he was convicted.

“On the Christmas Eve of 2018, Sithole, who was known to the victim, lured her away from her grandmother’s house to his place and raped her.

“The grandmother became worried about the victim’s disappearance. She went to search for her with no success and eventually reported her to the police.

“The next morning, the grandmother found the victim roaming in the street not far from her house. When she questioned her, she then told her grandmother that Sithole forcefully took her to his place where he had sexual intercourse with her without her consent.

“The matter was reported to the authorities and Sithole was subsequently arrested,” Nyuswa said.

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Nyuswa added that in court, Sithole did not dispute that he had sexual intercourse with the victim on the night in question but alleged that they were in a love relationship.

The state advocate, Marlin Cairncross, led the evidence of a psychologist which confirmed that the victim was unable to give consent due to her mental disability, Nyuswa said.

“Cairncross further highlighted the plight of vulnerable members of society in aggravation of sentence. He argued that people cannot live in a society where women and children are driven to the periphery and downgraded to second class citizens as a result of people like Sithole,” Nyuswa said.

The court found no mitigating factors to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life and Sithole was sentenced to life imprisonment, Nyuswa said.

“The NPA condemns violence against women and children.”

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