Rapist argues virgin didn’t know rape

2010-12-06 00:00

BLOEMFONTEIN — A teacher from Pietermaritzburg tried to convince three appeal court judges that he did not rape a 19-year-old woman because she is a virgin and does not know what the word rape means.

But appeal judges V. Ponnan, N. ­Mhlantla and Z. Tshiqi did not accept his argument and ordered that he should serve 10 years in jail.

Philane Sindane was sentenced in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court to 10 years in prison for the rape of the woman, who was his employee. The incident took place on July 24, 2005, when Sindane’s wife was not at home.

The victim testified that she had never been intimate with a man before the incident, and was therefore a virgin.

This appears to have led to Sindane testifying in the appeals court that the woman did not know what the word rape meant.

According to Sindane, the state had to prove that the woman knew what rape meant and that penetration had to be proven. He said this had not been done.

The judges said it is common knowledge that to commit a rape, penetration is required, even if it is just the slightest penetration.

They said it was clear from the woman’s testimony that she knew exactly what rape and penetration were.

She even used the word repeatedly in her testimony.

The judges said they found there was no reason to change either the conviction or sentence.

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