Judge jails rapist pastor for 10 years

2008-09-01 00:00

A pastor who performed voluntary work, including running feeding schemes in Osizweni, northern KZN, on behalf of the Anglican church, has been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for the rape of a 15-year-old girl.

The rape was committed at the home of Pastor Boy Meshack Nkosi (54) on December 29, 2005.

Judge Nic van der Reyden, sitting with two assessors, found yesterday that the mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment applicable to cases of rape of children under the age of 16 years, was not appropriate in the particular circumstances of the case.

He said he was aware of the attitude of the community that when a person is convicted of rape he should be put away for life. “What the community loses sight of is that each case must be judged on its own facts and circumstances,” he said.

Judge van der Reyden said he was satisfied in this case that the young woman — who according to medical records was fully developed when the sexual intercourse occurred and who was possibly sexually active before it — did not suffer any long-term trauma.

There was evidence that she had been prepared to “let bygones be bygones” and that all she had required was an apology from Nkosi.

The judge said it was also clear that her family had, over an extended period of time, tried to negotiate with Nkosi for compensation over the incident but Nkosi had refused because he denied having had intercourse with the young woman.

Judge van der Reyden said he could not lose sight of the fact that rape is a serious offence.

“Obviously I can’t just give you a slap on the wrist and tell you don’t do it again. You will have to serve a term of imprisonment,” he told Nkosi, who stood in the dock with his head bowed and his hands clasped together as sentence was passed.

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