Underage sex: ex-cop confesses

2012-09-13 00:00

FORMER Howick police Warrant Officer Michael Sokhela pleaded guilty to five charges yesterday, including having sex with a 13-year-old schoolgirl who stayed with him in his room at the Howick police barracks.

Pietermaritzburg Regional court Prosecutor Mfundo Pepu withdrew 12 other charges against Sokhela.

In his plea to the regional court, Sokhela also admitted that he had bought a stolen DVD player from his cousin, Welcome Madlala, in November 2009 for R140.

He said Madlala had told him one of his friends wanted to sell a DVD, but he admitted that he ought to have asked Madlala where his friend had obtained it.

Madlala has been convicted of taking part in a robbery at the home of former KZN government spokesperson Warwick Dorning, who was shot dead during the incident on November 7, 2009.

Sokhela’s advocate, Louis Barnard, told the court he would lead evidence by a Correctional Services official when the case resumes on October 15.

Sokhela is out on bail of R10 000.

He said in his plea that although the girl he had a relationship with was “fully developed”, he had known she was only 13 and knew it was an offence to have sex with a girl of less than 16 years.

He said consensual sex took place in July 2007 and he used a condom for health reasons and to ensure she did not fall pregnant.

Sokhela further admitted that on December 13, 2007, he was stopped at a roadblock while his blood/alcohol concentration was more than three times the permissible 0,05 g per 100 ml of blood, and that during December 2007 he had crashed a police vehicle into a fence after driving too fast.

He said that in 2009 he had to move out of the police barracks at short notice and took four beds owned by the SA Police Service to his home in Merrivale.

He knew this “unauthorised borrowing” was unlawful, but he had intended to return them when he bought his own.

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