Raped gogo continues to suffer

2013-03-16 00:00

A BEDRIDDEN woman who is 85 years old has lost 30 kg since being raped in November 2011, the high court in Pietermaritzburg heard yesterday.

KwaZulu-Natal’s deputy judge president, Judge Achmat Jappie, sentenced Sibusiso Didisi Nkosi (27) to 22 years’ imprisonment for the rape of the woman.

The attack happened as she lay in bed in the high-care section of an old-age home in a northern KZN town.

State advocate Elsa Smith had called for the minimum sentence of life imprisonment to be imposed on Nkosi for raping a disabled person.

However, Judge Jappie found that compelling and substantial circumstances existed justifying a lower sentence.

These were that Nkosi was drunk at the time, that he pleaded guilty, saving the victim the trauma of having to testify and the possibility he could be rehabilitated.

Jappie said he also took into account the severe impact the rape had on the victim and her family.

In a victim impact statement, the rape survivor said that she had almost stopped eating in the wake of the attack, her eyesight deteriorated and she couldn’t sleep well.

“I believe I have lost 30 kg,” she said.

She said she felt constantly afraid and threatened by any strangers, had nightmares and felt her dignity was impaired.

Her son said in a statement: “Mama said the emotional trauma, shock and fear of this incident will stay with her till the day she dies.”

His mother had been unable to talk about the rape. He described her as a “private person” and said the crime had filled her with abhorrence.

She had developed a compulsion for cleanliness and constantly wiped her hands and face, using up packet after packet of wet wipes and continually wanting to shower. He said his mother had become withdrawn and extremely embarrassed about what had happened to her.

She was given anti-retroviral treatment, but this affected her major organs and was discontinued.

In his statement to court, Nkosi said he had been drinking at a tavern on the afternoon of November 11, 2011. Walking home around midnight he passed the retirement home, “peeped” through a window and saw the victim in bed.

“The door leading to her room was closed but unlocked.”

He said he took off the woman’s lower garmets and had sexual intercourse with her without her consent. He then got dressed and left.

Nkosi said he was arrested the same day and immediately co-operated with investigators. The court heard that DNA evidence had linked Nkosi to the crime.

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