The Botshabelo Regional Court has sentenced a 40-year-old man to life in jail after he pleaded guilty to raping four-year-old girl in September last year.
The child was playing in the street with other children when Thabo Mokoale asked her to run an errand to the local shop.
The child complied because she knew Mokoale as her neighbour. When she returned with the goods, Mokale led the four-year-old to his bedroom, locked the door and raped her.
Her frantic family and community members searched for the little girl throughout the night, unaware that Mokoale had locked her in his bedroom.
Mokoale only allowed the child to return home the following morning. She told her parents what happened and the matter was reported to the police.
Mokoale was arrested on 27 September last year.
During the sentencing, state prosecutor, Patrick Koloane submitted a victim impact statement for the child.
The girl’s mother said that her daughter no longer played with other children, and she had become violent in school, and was attacking other children.
Koloane further stated that even though Mokoale pleaded guilty, and saved the complainant from secondary trauma of having to testify in court, the offence is extremely serious. He called for the minimum prescribed sentence, saying Mokale failed to produce any substantial and compelling circumstances for a lesser sentence.
“The accused was interested in only one thing, which is to satisfy his own desire, at the expense of a 4-year-old child who knew nothing about sexual encounter. Our society expects the court to impose harsh punishment on perpetrators of such heinous crimes”, said Koloane.
Magistrate Matshediso Khuduga sentenced Mokoale to life imprisonment and ordered that his name be included in the National Register for Sex Offenders. She further declared him unfit to possess a firearm.
The NPA welcomed the sentence.