Principal sentenced to life for raping pupil

2014-06-04 00:00

THE school principal of a high school in the Ndawana area, Umzimkulu, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape of a 16-year-old pupil.

He was sentenced at the Kokstad Regional Court last week.

Mbongeni Sipiva (44) was charged with rape, culpable homicide, negligent driving and drunk driving. He pleaded not guilty on all counts.

The rape charge arises after he gave a 16-year-old girl from his school a lift on a Sunday in May 2012. On the way, he stopped, dragged her into the bush and raped her. He then took her to his home where he raped her again.

He was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment on that count.

In April 2011, he was driving his car at a very high speed and he knocked into two children who were coming back from church, killing one of them and injuring one.

Police found that he was drunk at the scene. After evidence was led, he was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for culpable homicide, three years for negligent driving and 12 months for drunken driving.

The state said he was trusted by the family of the rape victim and by her, and as a teacher, he broke that relationship of trust, showing no mercy.

Regional Magistrate Bayanda Madikizela said he showed no remorse or mercy for the victim, and said these offences are prevalent in South Africa.

“A clear message must be sent to the offender that whoever abuses children will receive a harsh sentence,” said Madikizela.

Department of Education spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa described the rape as terrible, saying the department expected teachers to be good examples and provide guidance.

“We don’t need such teachers in education because now he has destroyed the future of our pupil,” said Mlotshwa.

He said he believed that the case would be a lesson to other teachers who continue abusing pupils at schools.

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