Teen jailed for rape and murder of girl (6)

2008-10-27 00:00

A 14-year-old boy from Cebe, at Umzimkulu, has been sentenced to an effective seven years’ imprisonment in the juvenile section of Westville Prison for the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl on August 22 this year.

Judge Achmat Jappie, sitting with an assessor, sentenced the boy to a further five years’ imprisonment, conditionally suspended for five years.

“It is my hope that in time you will come to appreciate the seriousness of what you did. I hope that you make better choices in future that can only be to your advantage and to [the advantage] of society,” the judge told the youth, whose name may not be published because he is a juvenile.

The youngster sat unmoving in the dock and showed no emotion when sentence was passed.

His father was present to assist him in court.

In a statement, the boy admitted that he raped and then killed Londiwe Tshazi (6) by smothering her. He said he was alone with the girl in a room at his mother’s homestead. “I decided to engage in sexual intercourse with the deceased,” he said.

He said he forced her to lie on the floor, removed her pants and raped her. He was then “overcome by grief and fear” as he realised the girl would report his actions to her family.

“I decided to murder her,” he said “I forced her pants into her mouth and held her nose with my hand, thus preventing her from breathing. The deceased died as a result,” he said.

Judge Jappie said he was “guided” when imposing sentence by the submissions of state advocate Sandesh Sankar and legal aid defence attorney Divesh Mootheram.

He said in terms of the Constitution, a court should only jail a juvenile as a “measure of last resort”.

He said due to the seriousness of the offence, this was such a case calling for imprisonment.

He was advised there are facilities in Westville Prison that cater for someone in the boy’s position. “These facilities will be available to you until you turn 21 years old,” he told the youth.

Both Mootheram and Sankar submitted in argument that it was not desirable for the boy to be imprisoned with adult males, and that he should be released back into society on reaching 21.

The facility offers education and programmes aimed at rehabilitating offenders.

Judge Jappie said that while the prosecution argued that the crime was motivated by “lust”, his view was that the motive was more “experimentation”.

That it had tragic results, however, all could see.

Judge Jappie said had the youth been an adult he would in all likelihood have been sentenced to life imprisonment. He sentenced the boy to seven years imprisonment for rape and 12 years (of which five years was conditionally suspended) for the murder, but ordered that the sentences should run concurrently.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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