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2022/09/16      |  Written By:  Lieutenant Colonel A Funani   |   Province:  North West

POTCHEFSTROOM: 16 September 2022: The Provincial Commissioner of North West, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, welcomed the 18 years imprisonment sentence handed down to a 22-year-old accused by the Potchefstroom Regional Court on Tuesday, 13 September 2022. The accused was sentenced for raping a 14-year-old girl in 2019, in Ikageng, near Potchefstroom.

According to information presented before the court, the victim was walking from school in the afternoon and waited for her parents at their neighbours’ house. The accused’s mother who was playing cards at another neighbours house, sent the minor to go and fetch her sniff in her room. The accused who was watching television, directed the minor to his mother’s bedroom. He then followed the minor to the bedroom. The minor was about to leave the room when the accused called her back and instructed her to take off her clothes. The terrified girl refused and the accused assaulted her with a belt and forced her to undress. The accused then raped the child and instructed her to not disclose the incident to any person.

Later in December 2021, the minor was home with her brother and read about rape in her textbook. She cried uncontrollably when she recalled what happened to her in 2019. The brother ultimately called his parents whom the minor disclosed to, the rape incident and the matter was reported at Ikageng Police Station. The 22-year-old accused was arrested and charged with rape. He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment of which two years were suspended for a period of five years on condition that the accused is not convicted of rape or any sexual offence committed during the period of suspension. The accused’s name will be included into the National Child Protection Register according to the Children's Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005). Moreover, he was declared unfit to possess firearm in terms of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No. 60 of 2000).

Lieutenant General Kwena, congratulated Sergeant Jacob Ranoko of the Potchefstroom Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit, who worked hard together with other role players including the Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management (CR&CSM) officials as well as prosecution to ensure that the accused was sentenced although the case was reported after a year. He indicated that the case will serve as an indication that the rule of law has no deadline.