News24

Errors lead to rapist's case being dropped

2012-12-04 11:05

Polokwane - A "pitiful comedy of errors" in the courts has led to the dismissal of a rape case in which a Limpopo man should have received a life sentence for the rape of a 13-year-old girl, Beeld reported on Tuesday.

Victor Thimbudzi was initially found guilty of rape by the district court and later sent to jail for life by Limpopo High Court.

He had already served 13 years of his sentence, but appeal judges J Heher, N  Mhlantla, R Bosielo, M Mbha and D Swain said on Monday that the "comedy of errors" began with Thimbudzi's plea and ended when he was sentenced.

Thimbudzi was never informed that the rape of a 13-year-old carried a mandatory life sentence.

Furthermore, there was never any documentary evidence submitted to prove that the victim was under 16, in keeping with legal requirements.

The district court never ensured, in keeping with legal procedure, that the victim understood the difference between the truth and a lie, and she was therefore not sworn in properly as a witness.

In the high court, the judge never ratified the judgment handed down by the district magistrate, possibly because large portions of the transcribed document were missing, apparently because the transcriber could not hear what was being said in court.

The Supreme Court of Appeal set his sentencing and conviction aside.

Comments
  • nkululeko.zondi.9 - 2012-12-04 11:11

    Thats why communities takes law into their hands.

      kalabafazi - 2012-12-04 13:46

      I don't see the "comedy" of the errors. Those who effed up need to be jailed themselves.

  • sanchez.sancho.7 - 2012-12-04 11:25

    why am i think about the necklace

  • makarapakaplan - 2012-12-04 11:32

    The court system is broken, mob justice is the only answer

      kseyffert - 2012-12-04 14:23

      It's NOT the answer but it IS what happens.

  • andrew.arde - 2012-12-04 11:36

    Nothing good ever comes out of Limpopo (the southern most province of Zimbabwe)!!! Useless, non existing government!!

  • richard.madhopershad - 2012-12-04 11:48

    send them all to jail!!

  • jurgens.liebenberg.5 - 2012-12-04 11:52

    Whaaaaaat!!!! and this case has judges, lawyers,advocates,police and any other fool who thinks they are legally qualified and they still did not know to inform the rapist that rape of a 13yr old carries a mandatory life sentence,oh please, who are they trying to kid,a rape of any age should be a life sentence, this is all crap, "JUST ANOTHER NORMAL DAY IN OUR LEGAL SYSTEM!

      willem.louw1 - 2012-12-04 13:01

      Jurgens, my granddaughter was raped when she was 6 years old and the alleged rapist is still walking free, after 2 years of bungling by the courts. The judge is always either sick or on leave and the case keeps on being postponed. I have lost all faith in this justice system, because a child's rights are lower than a criminal's.

      chez.kri - 2012-12-04 13:10

      @Willem. I want to thumbs down your comment but not because I don't agree with you, but because I don't like your comment. Your story is just awful; how do you stay sane? My sympathies to your entire family.

  • mart.botha - 2012-12-04 11:59

    Would it not be more acceptable to the whole mass of us if the courts 'accidently/in error' imprisoned a few innocents rather than 'accidently/in error' released the guilty. The track record of those released for various reasons including dickhead's pardons is abysmal. We must do what is good for the whole of society and not just one arguably mutant animal who preyed on a child. Take back your streets South Africa and destroy those who are putting your children at risk.

  • linda.duits - 2012-12-04 12:01

    Jungle justice p0lease

  • Poetry Pencil - 2012-12-04 12:04

    well thats where 'bee' gets you

      jj.jeno.1 - 2012-12-04 13:12

      What a ridiculously stupid comment...

  • peter.j.cock - 2012-12-04 12:35

    Must be a VERY close friend of Zuma, Shaik, Cele and Malema to have his case "dismissed"

  • Ddatruth - 2012-12-04 12:46

    Give him a sex change and send him to an all male prison

  • angela.nair.3 - 2012-12-04 13:08

    Continue to fail your people oh wise and mighty ANC (joke!) This little girl in particular! All you care about is your own family, friends and comrades! To hell with the rest... And these are people who line in their thousands to vote you into Government - Perhaps the word Governement should go into your rule books? Maybe the people who are sitting there and deciding whats best for us dont understand the word Government? In simple English - to govern the land to the best of your ability, to take care of its citizens, take care of the young, weak, disabled, aged, look after our borders so we dont have so many illegal immigrants and the list goes on on! It does not mean take care of yourselves first and the people later. Do they read our comments? Oh sorry - Bantu Education maybe? Or Apartheid.......

      beki.khumalo - 2012-12-04 13:41

      Eyi but Angela you have major issues though! I would have thought you would take issue with the legal system and it's loopholes.

  • firmsly.kabelo - 2012-12-04 19:27

    The people who bungled this case should be suspended without pay and full investigation be carried out. What they did is bringing the country into disrepute and its justice system.

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