Action Society welcomes the sentencing of a 57-year-old man for the rape of an 18-year-old girl from Mitchells Plain.
“We are satisfied that the rapist will serve time behind bars,” said Kaylynn Palm, Western Cape Action Centre coordinator at Action Society. “However, we are shocked that no one informed the victim of the outcome until we followed up with her. Another example of how the system fails.”
Action Society has been overseeing this matter since last year, and the man was finally sentenced on Friday, 27 January 2023. He received an eight-year sentence, of which three years are suspended for five years. He will effectively serve a five-year sentence.
The man – her neighbour – raped the girl on a beach in Cape Town after she drove to the shop with him and his brother. During the court proceedings, the rapist’s wife said that her husband told her the girl had consented to intercourse, and it was not rape. The defence tried to use the rapist’s claim that he is the family’s breadwinner as a get-out-of-jail-free card to no avail.
The girl told Action Society that the family – her neighbours – is furious at her. “It’s okay, they are spreading stories about me, but I have to keep going and keep living,’ she said.
State prosecutor Graham Ferguson said the girl has gone through psychological and emotional trauma. “I am taking it one day at a time,” she admitted. “I recognise I need help, and I hope to get it. Thank you, Action Society, for making sure that he is behind bars, fighting in the background; I really appreciate your work”.
Palm said that Action Society is involved with several cases still running in court. “The sad reality is that there are many challenges in getting to the point of conviction, and it takes too long to serve justice. It is a long and frustrating process. Things like dockets not being at court in time, loadshedding, or inconclusive investigations drag out cases for months and years.”
Upcoming cases where Action Society is involved includes:
- 10-year-old Lihle Zenzile from Mbekwini, who was murdered and put in a trunk in her house;
- Lekeasha Marthinus’s boyfriend allegedly hit her on the head with a beer bottle in Mitchells Plain; and
- The death of Nosiphiwo James, who was allegedly stabbed with a screwdriver in Khayelitsha by her boyfriend.