Sobantu mutilation-rape pair jailed for attack on teenager

2007-11-17 00:00

Zungu was sentenced to a further three years' imprisonment suspended for five years on condition she is not again found guilty of a violent offence.

Zungu was convicted by Judge Achmat Jappie and two assessors of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for having cut a piece of flesh from the young girl's genital area, and of having incited Mkhize to murder the young victim.

Afterwards, she told Mkhize that she had what she needed and he could then do with the girl what he pleased.

He raped the 17-year-old three times.

Mkhize was found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and of three counts of rape.

The court found that he was the person who grabbed the teen around the neck from behind as she walked home from school via a shortcut through the bush at Sobantu on January 19 last year.

He ordered her to remove her underwear, lie down and spread her legs. Zungu then inserted a knife into the girl's private parts and cut a piece of flesh from her, while Mkhize stood guard. Afterwards, he raped the victim.

The teen testified that Zungu told Mkhize to kill her more than once and that she begged them for her life.

After raping her for the third time, Mkhize agreed to let her go.

The judge said that despite the fact that neither of the perpetrators' DNA was found on the victim, the court was satisfied that her identification of Zungu and Mkhize as the attackers was correct. She gave an “uncannily” accurate description of both of them prior to their arrest, he said.

The judge said it was difficult to know what sentence to impose on Zungu as she is in her twilight years and if a long jail term were imposed would die in prison.

However, he said her crimes were extremely serious and it would not be fair to society if the sentence in effect left her unpunished.

“It is fortunate that Mkhize had the moral courage not to carry out your instructions [to murder the girl],” he said.

He said this was the sole factor that saved Mkhize from a life sentence.

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