Teen guilty of raping 9-year-old girl

Mbombela - A 14-year-old primary school pupil in Mpumalanga has been found guilty of raping a 9-year-old girl back in 2012.

The Grade 7 pupil, from Tonga, who may not be named as he is a minor, was convicted when he appeared in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Wednesday.

He was arrested on May 8, 2012, after a neighbour found him raping the girl at his home. He was 12 when he committed the crime.

He pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and rape.

When passing judgement, Magistrate André Geldenhuys said on evidence from the neighbour, she caught him in the act while raping the victim on May 7, 2012.

"The witness said she went to investigate after she heard the victim screaming. Although she did not fully explain if she exactly saw whether your private part was inside the victim's private part, she stood firm on her testimony on what she saw happening. She impressed the court. Her evidence is satisfactory and admissible," Geldenhuys told the accused.

Witness testimony collaborated

Geldenhuys said after getting caught, the accused ran out of the room leaving the witness and the victim.

"The witness said you went to play with your friends like nothing happened. After she reported the matter to your family, the victim was taken to a clinic on the same day.

"Her testimony was collaborated by a statement compiled by a forensic nurse who examined the girl. The report said the victim had fresh injuries on her private part, and there were signs she had been raped," Geldenhuys said.

The magistrate said the minor tried misleading the court in his testimony as he kept changing his testimony.

"You denied the charges, saying the neighbour hated you after problems she had with your mother. You said after she sent you and the victim to buy chicken at a shop, she gave R1 to each of you. The victim used her money and after she took yours, you slapped and beat her on her head. That was why the witness heard her screaming," he said.

Geldenhuys said although the accused is a minor, he did explain to the court that he knew what rape means.

"You said it is when a man forcefully puts his private part inside a woman's private part. You said you and the victim were playing together, jumping on a bed. You said she may have sustained her injuries on her private part after she went outside looking for mangoes," he said.

Case proven beyond reasonable doubt

The magistrate said although the State did not call the victim to give her testimony, the prosecutor did prove his case beyond reasonable doubt.

"The court is satisfied that you raped the child. You are therefore found guilty on count two [rape] as charged," he said.

The accused's defence lawyer, Cebo Vilakazi, applied for pre-sentencing reports by a social worker and the South African National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (Nicro) as the accused in still a minor.

"The application is granted for the purpose of compiling the reports," Geldenhuys said.

Magistrate Geldenhuys released the accused into the custody of his uncle, who has been his guardian since the arrest.

"If you cause problems, your guardian will report you to court and to your attorney and you will be kept in custody," the magistrate said.

The case was postponed to May 28 for the pre-sentencing reports and sentencing.

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