The Benoni Magistrates Court has sentenced a 36 year old man to life behind bars for the rape of a minor child.
The offence occurred on 2 July 2019, after the child’s mother offered the man a place to stay after becoming homeless. The man called upon the victim and her 6 year old cousin, while the mother was not around to his shack and ordered them to lie on the bed.
The six year old refused to do as they were told and stood by the door. The cousin’s refusal did not sway the man as he continued to undress and rape the 5 year old girl in front of her cousin.
When the mother returned, the cousin reported the incident and the child was rushed to the doctors who confirmed that she had been raped. The mother subsequently opened a case with the police, who after investigations arrested the man on 6 July 2019. He has remained behind bars since his arrest.
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During the trial, the man maintained his innocence, and through his defence attorney pleaded for the court not to impose the prescribed minimum sentence as he has to take care of his two children aged 16 and 18.
However, Magistrate Bettina Pulane Maredi was not swayed by the man’s pleas as she noted the prevalence of such cases and other gender-based violence cases around her jurisdiction and throughout the country.
Maredi found no substantial reasons why she would deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life behind bars. The magistrate also ordered his name be added on the National Register for Sexual Offenders.