Ex-powerboat champ faces jail time

2012-03-12 20:45
Johannesburg - The sentencing of a former world powerboat champion for rape was postponed by the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday, the national prosecuting authority said.

Lionel Ball was convicted in December of raping and sexually exploiting an 11-year-old girl.

His domestic worker Nokuzola Ntonga was found guilty of conspiracy and of aiding and abetting Ball to commit a sexual assault.

NPA spokespersonTsepo Ndwalaza said pre-sentencing reports and arguments in mitigation and aggravation of sentence were to have been presented on Monday.

"The State led the evidence of clinical psychologist Pumza Sakasa who assessed the complainant on the psychological impact on her," he said.

Ndwalaza said the defence led with evidence of a social worker who had compiled a pre-sentencing report on Ball. However the report on Ntonga was not ready.

The case was postponed until April 11 and 12.

In December, Judge Judith Roberson said Ntonga and Ball had given conflicting testimonies about the arranged meeting between Ball and the child, as well as what occurred afterwards.

The girl testified she knew Ntonga, who had come to her house with a friend, and had told her she would take her to a social worker to get shoes and clothes.

She got into a car, and was later taken to Ball's home in Amalinda, East London, where she was raped. Afterwards, Ball forced her into the shower and locked her in the bedroom before driving her home.

Ball admitted the child was brought to his home, but denied raping her. He said he allowed her to watch television in his bedroom before giving her food, clothes and R200 for shoes.

Roberson said she thought it inexplicable that Ball would take a child he "did not know from a bar of soap", allow her to watch television in his bedroom and then give her a relatively large sum of money.

Read more on:    port elizabeth

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