Gang-rape sentencing delayed

2009-08-26 13:13
Johannesburg - The sentencing of the seven men found guilty of gang-raping a pregnant woman in Tembisa in 2005 was again postponed in the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday.

The court postponed the case of the woman, who was named "Buyisiwe" by gender rights activists, to next Monday.

Judge Lucy Mailula, who is handling the case, was not in court.

The seven men, Thabiso Thukwane, Sello Mohlala, Oupa Mohlala, Bongani Nhlapo, Moeketsi Mphuti, Kabelo Mwale and Mojalefa Seleka were found guilty in June.

The men were aged between 17 and 20 at the time of the rape and they had all pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and indecent assault.

Sex with a pregnant woman

The State had told the court that the men raped the woman because they wanted to experience sex with a pregnant woman.

Buyisiwe was living with a friend when the men broke into their home in Tembisa and pulled her out of the house before raping her at gunpoint.

The men then forced her to walk the streets naked in the early hours of the morning before taking her to an abandoned shack.

They forced her to lie down next to a pit toilet and continued raping her.

The case was first postponed for sentencing on July 28 after sentencing reports were reportedly not ready for presentation.

However, the prosecutor, advocate Kholeka Gcaleka told the court on Wednesday the reports had since been handed over to Mailula.

Postponements

In March this year, members of the One in Nine campaign, which supports women, who speak out about rape, protested outside the court to have the trial moved forward.

This was after the case was postponed over 20 times since 2005.

The group claimed Buyisiwe was being denied justice due to the incompetence of the criminal justice system.

- SAPA
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