Rape: life sentence dropped to 15 years

2011-03-10 00:00

THE life sentence of a 20-year-old rapist was changed to 15 years’ jail by Pietermaritzburg judges who held that his sentence and a 12-year jail term for his co-accused had given rise to anxiety about a possibly unjust or disproportionate sentence.

The Scottburgh regional magistrate imposed the life sentence on Sizene Mseleku finding that there were no substantial and compelling circumstances justifying a more lenient sentence than the prescribed life term. Mseleku has a previous conviction for robbery, while his fellow rapist, Mduduzi Ndlovu, is a first offender.

While the pair originally pleaded not guilty, their admissions during the trial amounted to a guilty plea.

The appeal was opposed because the victim was 15, was forced into a bush and was raped both vaginally and anally.

Mseleku, by virtue of his first conviction, knew about crime, criminality and punishment, it was said. His sentence was back-dated to October 2008 so he could be released in four years.

The appeal was heard by Judge Jerome Mnguni and Acting Judge Nathi Chili.

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