A 40-year-old man has been sentenced to two life terms after he was found guilty of raping a mentally disabled man on two different occasions in Sawoti, KwaZulu-Natal.
According to a statement by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the accused, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, lived in the same neighbourhood as the victim in the small town on the South Coast.
“The man first raped the 25-year-old victim as they were returning from a traditional ceremony at a nearby homestead. The victim reported the incident to his grandmother,” NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara said in a statement.
A case was opened, and the accused was arrested.
However, it was provisionally withdrawn pending the outcome of DNA tests as the victim was unable able to give evidence in court due to his mental state.
“During this time, the accused again encountered the victim and took him to his home. The victim’s aunt got concerned when he did not return home went out looking for him,” Kara said.
“Neighbours told her that they had seen the victim at the accused’s house. She gathered together community members and went to the accused’s home.”
The victim’s aunt peeked through the window, saw both men naked on a bed and started shouting at her nephew, telling him leave the house.
The accused kept the victim in the house and threw stones at residents, Kara said.
Eventually, they broke down the door and rescued the victim.
“Following a medical examination, a second case of rape was opened against the accused and he was arrested.”
The accused denied both counts of rape, but prosecutor Active Njakazi led DNA evidence as well as the testimonies of the doctor and victim’s aunt.
The Scottburgh Regional Court convicted the accused and sentenced him to life in prison on each rape charge. The sentences will run concurrently.