Brave little girl's testimony leads to rapist’s conviction

2015-05-22 16:13
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Mbombela - The testimony of a 5-year-old child who witnessed her teen aunt being raped, has led to the conviction of the attacker.

Petros Jack Mabila, 19, from Kanyamazane near Mbombela, was convicted when he appeared in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Friday.

He was arrested on February 6 2014 after he was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl on January 23 2014.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge of rape, saying the sex was consensual and that the victim initiated it.

When passing judgment, Magistrate Vanessa Joubert referred to information relating to evidence given by child victims and child witnesses.

The knife

Joubert said the child, although 5-years-old, was a good witness.

“She made an improbable impression to the court. She described the events related to the crime, which was corroborated by the victim," she said.

Joubert said the accused threatened the child with a knife, saying he would kill her if she told anyone about what she saw happening between him and her aunt.

She said the child broke the silence on February 6, which was 15 days after the offence.

“It was after she recognised the knife while her mother worked with utensils in the kitchen. The child said it was the one used to threaten her after she saw her aunt, who was naked and crying, while the accused was on top of her,” she said.

The magistrate said the child told the court she did not know what rape is.

'He took out the knife and threatened her'

“The child testified that she saw the accused removing a condom from his penis and put it inside his trouser pocket. He then made her a drink, walked her back to her mother's bedroom where he took out the knife and threatened her,” she said.

Magistrate Joubert said the victim confirmed she was raped after the child's mother asked her what happened.

“The victim said she slept in the kitchen. The accused knew her sister was away. When he came and knocked on the door, she opened as she knew him. He then slept next to her and asked for sex, but she refused. After she ran to her sister's room where the child slept, he followed her and placed the knife on her throat," Joubert said.

He then dragged her back to the kitchen, where she was raped.

The magistrate said the victim and the child's silence was reasonable as the accused had threatened to kill them.

“The delay to report the offence is found to be reasonable under these circumstances. You are found guilty as charged,” Joubert said.

The accused's defence asked the court for a pre-sentencing report by a social worker as the accused was only 18-years-old when he committed the offence.

The case was postponed to June 25 for the report and sentencing.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  crime

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