Scourge of child rape

2017-09-27 13:45
Girl "belittled and empty" after rape.

Girl "belittled and empty" after rape. (File)

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A single doctor in Pietermaritzburg treats “60 to 70” child victims of sexual assault every month.

This was revealed on Tuesday when regional court magistrate Muntukhayise Khumalo sentenced Pietermaritzburg child rapist Mthokozisi Cebekhulu (40) to life imprisonment.

Cebekhulu was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl on three separate occasions last year.

In a poignant, hand-written victim impact statement, the teenager said she feels “belittled and empty” as a result of the rapes.

“This really broke my heart”, she said.

She declared that she now “despises” all males. “I don’t even want a male person (any male person) next to me.”

The regional court prosecutor Miriam Aboobaker highlighted the prevalence of child rape in Pietermaritzburg and elsewhere in the country.

She said a medical doctor working at a centre that deals exclusively with sexual assaults on children in the Pietermaritzburg area had testified that he alone dealt with “60 to 70” sexual assaults of children every month.

“This excludes cases at hospitals, private patients and matters dealt with by other doctors,” said Aboobaker.

The young girl who fell victim to Cebekhulu was a foster child, who at the time was living in same area that he was.

The court was told he had threatened to kill her if she reported the rapes and initially she kept silent.

Khumalo said it appeared Cebekhulu had preyed on her because she fell into a vulnerable group of people in society.

“From society’s perspective rape is a scourge, a cancer that threatens the moral and social fabric of our society and shames us as a nation,” he said.

“The accused ought to have known that children are an absolute no-go area for sexual activity of any kind,” he said before sentencing Cebekhulu to life in prison.

This is the minimum prescribed sentence for child rape unless the court finds there are compelling circumstances that justify a lower sentence, which Khumalo did not find.

He said Cebekhulu showed absolutely no remorse for what he did.

In the face of strong evidence against him Cebekhulu had persisted in making his victim “look like a liar” and she had to relive (in court) her experience when she was raped by him.

The crimes were discovered after a four-year-old child saw Cebekhulu pulling the girl into a room and “kissing” her last March and reported the incident to an elder.

That was the third occasion on which the girl had been raped by Cebekhulu when he encountered her in the area.

When adults questioned the teenager very soon afterwards and examined her they discovered she had been sexually interfered with and took her to a doctor.

The medical findings were consistent with the teenager’s version that she had been raped on more than one occasion.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  rape case

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