Rape: deaf, mute man pleads guilty

2012-09-04 00:00

A 23-YEAR-OLD deaf and mute man pleaded guilty in the regional court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday to the rape of an eight-year-old boy.

The incident took place on January 1, this year.

Siyabonga Dladla from Sobantu was assisted during the court proceedings by an interpreter skilled in the use of sign language.

He admitted in a statement to court that on January 1 he had seen the child walking along the road and called him in sign language. The boy indicated that he did not want to go with Dladla who dragged him to a toilet and raped him.

Dladla’s legal aid attorney, Lauren Marais, urged regional court magistrate Rose Mogwera to follow the recommendations of a probation officer’s report when passing sentence.

The report recommended that Dladla be given a suspended sentence coupled with a period of correctional supervision. It was feared that he would not cope in prison where he was likely to be victimized and his rehabilitation hampered by difficulties with communication.

Marais said Dladla is young and capable of being rehabilitated.

The court was told that Dladla does not have parents and lives with his brother. He survives on a disability grant.

State prosecutor, Rene Padayachee stressed the prevalence of rape and said women and children require protection. She accepted that Dladla had shown remorse, but said he had taken advantage of an innocent boy who still suffers as a result of the rape.

The child was seen by a state psychologist and was found to be psychologically and emotionally traumatised. He now fears the company of older boys.

Padayachee said there are programmes available in prison to assist people with disabilities.

Sentence was postponed until Friday.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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