Child rapist’s life term cut to 20 years

2010-04-07 00:00

A 25-YEAR-OLD Cato Ridge man who raped a six-year-old girl after a traditional ceremony at her home in October 2005 had his life term reduced to 20 years’ imprisonment on appeal in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The appeal court ruled that he must serve 15 years before he can be considered for parole.

Judges Trevor Gorven and Esther Steyn reduced the sentence after finding the trial court did not pay sufficient heed to the fact that the rapist — Mondli Zondi — spent three years and nine months in jail awaiting trial. He was also a first offender who had previously supported his family.

The court accepted that the rape in October 2005 was extremely serious and had traumatic consequences for the child, who suffered physical and psychological trauma.

According to evidence given at the trial by clinical psychologist Professor Anthony Pillay, the little girl had frequent nightmares in which she felt threatened by monsters and “scary perpetrators”, she wet and soiled herself and was afraid of men as a result of the rape.

Pillay testified that the effects of sexual assault on children are long term and it is possible the child could show further effects in later years.

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