East London Family

Photo: Envato Elements/Joebelanger

EC man escapes with eight years imprisonment for raping teen

Anele Maxakatha, with good behaviour, could shave off a few years from his eight-year stint for raping a teen.

East London Family

Photo: Envato Elements/Joebelanger

A 25-year-old from Centane, Eastern Cape, has been convicted of raping a 16-year-old, and on Friday, he received a maximum sentence of eight years imprisonment.

Why Anele Maxakatha received eight years for rape

The Centane Regional Magistrate’s Court had heard evidence about how Anele Maxakatha had forced himself onto a 16-year-old female from Gcina Village, in Centane, and raped her.

The incident, according to police spokesperson, Captain Jackson Manatha, took place on New Year’s Day, in 2018. It is a tradition for people to spend the first day of the new year at events, where they drink and have fun with mates.

This is exactly what the 16-year-old was doing with her friends before Maxakatha entered the tavern at around 18:00 and forced himself on her.

It is believed that Maxakatha dragged the teen to his home, in full view of the people from the village but nobody came to her aid. The 25-year-old arrived at his home and continued to rape the 16-year-old.

Fortunately, the teen managed to make it out of the suspect’s residence and she filed a rape case at the Centane police station, where the matter was handed over “to Butterworth Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS)”.

After an intensive trial, the Centane Regional Magistrate’s Court, on Friday, 18 October, found Maxakatha guilty of rape and sentenced him to eight years imprisonment.

What is the maximum penalty for sexual assault in South Africa?

Some might agree that this was, without a doubt, a slap on the wrist for Maxakatha. With good behaviour, there is a possibility that the 25-year-old can shave a good portion of his sentence off and he released in a couple of years.

Admittedly, this is a far cry from the promises government made recently about applying harsher sentences to sexual assault convicts.

Rape carries a mandatory life sentence in cases where the victim was sexually assaulted by multiple suspects, where the suspect knew he was HIV positive and in instances where the victim is younger than 18 years.

Regarding the latter, it is the State’s duty to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the suspect knew that the victim was below 18. This was clearly never established in this case.

The basis of Maxakatha’s sentence and the justification of why he was handed eight years remains unknown.