Not charging minors with rape 'not to do with age'

2012-05-03 22:27

Johannesburg - The State advocate said the decision not to charge the four minors accused of gang raping a 17-year-old mentally impaired Soweto girl had nothing to do with their ages.

"It's not about the age of the perpetrator - that is not the reason why we have not put rape charges against them," said State advocate Carina Coetzee.

"The charges that the State had put against them for the purposes of this application had not included rape. It was other offences under the Sexual Offences Act.

Asked to elaborate, she said: "Let's not run ahead of the investigation.

"We will discuss it as the National Prosecuting Authority and decide what charges we are going to prefer, but in all fairness to them we have put the minimum we have against them."

The four were granted bail by the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

House arrest

"They did get bail of R500 each and they were placed under house arrest. They will change communities... they are just going to move for their own safety."

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said a report on the mental capacity of the girl was still outstanding.

He welcomed the bail ruling, saying: "The incarceration of young offenders should be the last resort. Them getting bail does not affect the case."

The charges included paying a teenager for sexual intercourse, using children for child pornography, and possession, creation and distribution of child pornography, Coetzee said.

The bail applications by youths, one aged 13 and three aged 17, began on Thursday and were held in camera.

Video went viral

The four boys and three men, who matched the descriptions of rapists shown in a cellphone video of the attack, were arrested in Dobsonville, Soweto, on 17 April.

The video went viral on the internet.

The NPA announced at a previous court appearance that three of the four youths would face full prosecution.

"All the accused persons, including the three minors, will appear in court together. They will not be diverted [to a programme for young offenders]," Mhaga said at an earlier court appearance.

Criminally incapable

"In respect of the fourth minor, the 13-year-old, we still have to determine his criminal capacity. Remember, between the ages of seven and 14 they are presumed to be criminally incapable."

The seven faced preliminary charges of rape, sexual assault, engaging the sexual services of a minor for reward, using a minor to create child pornography, committing a sexual act in the presence of a minor, committing a sexual act in the presence of an adult, and creating, possessing and distributing child pornography.

The case against the three men, one aged 18 and two aged 19, has been postponed until 20 June for further investigation. The men did not apply for bail.

The three 17-year-olds would appear in court on 20 June with the adults.

Family covered their faces

The report on the 13-year-old boy's criminal capacity was not available, Coetzee said. The boy's lawyer William Karam said it would take a month to compile.

"The youngster will be coming back on May 17 not for the report, [but] simply to see where we at," said Karam.

"The three youths will join the three adults for the purposes of trial and the assessment of the 13-year-old will proceed. It will take some time and he will appear in court on his own, pending the outcome of the assessment."

Family members of the boys covered their faces when they left court and did not want to speak to the media.

Unlike the previous court appearances, there were no protesters outside the building on Thursday.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-05-03 23:03

    OK well still not enough info as to WHY but I am encouraged by "Let's not run ahead of the investigation". This implies there could be more charges laid later. Still do not agree with the State not asking for psych evaluation and totally against them being released back into the community - even house arrest.

      Eduard - 2012-05-04 02:17

      Castrate the little bastards.

      Sean - 2012-05-04 03:12

      Just put them down like rabid dogs !!!!

      Mattewis - 2012-05-04 07:05

      Also strongly disagree with the state and left with more questions than answers. How is house-arrest implemented in SA, when prison-arrest can barely be enforced? How is "criminal capability" defined? The way I understand it, it has to do with the realization of consequence, and not being 13-yrs 11-mths vs 14-yrs & a day? As far as 17-yrs is concerned, we were drafted for national service when we turned 16, and if I'm not mistaken the ANC even drafted their "freedom fighters" at a younger age than that! So you can run around fighting a war making literal life/death decisions at 16 or younger, but you're a minor at 17 when committing a crime! What cr@p! The law setting these savage beasts loose on society isn't worth the paper it's written on!

      carpejugulim - 2012-05-04 07:43

      Stop and think about this for a second ... the suspects have more rights than the victims and the victims more often than not have more rights than the people who are there to enforce the law. There is something very very wrong with that. Time the whole system was re-evaluated.

      Kala - 2012-05-04 10:32

      I agree with carpejugulim - The way our systems protect alleged suspects and even convicted criminals is wrong. Citizens have rights, criminals should have none!

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-05-03 23:38

    Unless these boys realize the seriousness of their actions, and if not punished adequately they may go and try it again. Who knows what urges and emotions have been roused by this gang rape?

  • Rick - 2012-05-03 23:43

    If only we could live in a world where children are in deed criminally incapable. Fact of the matter is these minors did commit a crime.... An adult crime - and now it seems they are being charged with everything but the actual rape. To top it all it was reported on 702 radio that during the court proceedings the judge sat on a chair on their floor level "in order not to intimidate the accused during the hearing" !!!! Just imagine how intimidated the rape victim felt while being raped over and over by these monsters who turned a deaf ear to her pleadings and begging for them to stop. Yet we are so concerned that we might intimidate them during the hearing in a matter where there is such clear and damning evidence of their guilt. And lastly - is paying a rape victim R2-00 to shut up the same as paying the victim for sex ????

      Sean - 2012-05-04 03:07

      F@ck them , lock the scum up !! They want to act like ``adults `` , they must be treated like adults !!

      Sean - 2012-05-04 03:09

      By the way , f@ck the state advocate !!! That d@@s still tries to defend them !!!!! I hope he rots in hell !!!!!!

      npretorius2 - 2012-05-04 09:27

      but in all fairness to them we have put the minimum we have against them."... WTF? They should face the consequences of their actions. Were they fair to their victim? Release them to the comunity

      Colin - 2012-05-04 09:30

      And they wonder why there is street justice and kangaroo courts! If you cannot deal with perpetrators accordingly then it is up to the people!

  • Deana - 2012-05-04 00:31

    \In all fairness to them..\- WTF?? What \fairness\ were shown to the girl while she was repeatedly RAPED by all of them? The 13 year old INCLUDED? They should cut of all their penises, let them dry, stick it up their rectums and film them crying and pleading like the poor girl did. Sick, deranged monsters! Incapable of crime indeed.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-04 06:27

      I agree, this was the most shocking comment of all "in fairness to them". What on earth did they do to deserve fairness! And the prosecutor is a woman! How can criminals be treated with such kid gloves, it's no wonder they rule this country?

  • Grace - 2012-05-04 01:02

    Ms Ceotzeeeee....... Let's be fair to the rapists shall we??? Give them YOUR daughter to gang rape and allow them to video tape it and put it in the internet. That's FAiR!

      odupreez - 2012-05-04 07:37

      Agreed, if it happened to her daughter or to her, by 14yr olds would she be so kind, and not intimidate them, utter bull, she would be screaming blue murder.

  • Koos - 2012-05-04 01:05

    African solutions for Africa. We should stop to try and force Western values onto the people of Africa. They should allowed to be ruled by the captain. In reality there is no such thing as rape in the African way of life. Nature calls and damages are paid. If it is not the age what is it then?

      odupreez - 2012-05-04 07:38

      Good question Koos, and I am sure many would like a answer from her.

  • Sueki Gotha-Billy Fitzgerald - 2012-05-04 01:15

    and then they wonder why this country is going straight to hell? the criminals get all the advantages and the innocent, law followers should just sit back and watch...

  • Kyle - 2012-05-04 01:20

    Maybe I'm being naïve, but what is there to investigate? The video clearly shows what happened. Punish them all and get it over with. Enough is enough!

      Sean - 2012-05-04 03:10

      Not according to the state advocate .... what a f@cken joke !!!!!!!

      Koos - 2012-05-04 03:13

      The video will not be allowed as evidence. Taken without their knowledge.

      Riëtte - 2012-05-04 10:14

      @ Koos, if tehy can rape a girl, lying about the taping of the deed is very easy for these disgusting wastes of oxygen.

      nsda29 - 2012-05-04 10:36

      Koos if they didnt take the video then who did?

  • Toofaan - 2012-05-04 04:01

    Just when I thought I'd heard it all. Now it's fair to let gang rapists out on bail and also not to charge them with rape when it's been recorded on camera. These minors are criminally capable and everyone knows it. You would think that rape is a national sport in this country.

  • dmpakati - 2012-05-04 04:41

    These minors should face the reality of what they have done. A rape will always be a rape, whether the perpatrator is an adult or minor. Justice needs to be served on these boys, so that they can realize the seriousness of the crime they have committed. I feel bitter about the gang rape of a mentally challenged girl who could not defend herself fromm these monsters.u

  • Pieter Erasmus - 2012-05-04 05:34


  • Gregory - 2012-05-04 05:42

    South Africa is the rape capital of the world. These vile rapist should face the full wrath of the law. They did not steal a chocalate from a shop, they sexually abused a retarded little girl . Its atrocious .They where probably playing folow the leader , Zuma done it ,so lets do it too, one day they can be president too.

      marumobongani - 2012-05-04 07:38

      wow!bro thats too harsh but anyway I admire your bravery freedom of speech but I dont see it going well with fellow comrades good luck

  • Carry - 2012-05-04 06:24


  • Louis - 2012-05-04 06:37

    Seeing as the fact that they are not being charged with rape has nothing to do with their age, I suppose every rape case in the country can now refer to this one and we will no longer have any rapists on trial. \r\n\r\nThe way to stop behaviour like this is to make an example of them. They did wrong, so they must be punished accordingly.

  • marina.poniatowska - 2012-05-04 06:44

    No Words.

  • willisschoeman - 2012-05-04 06:54

    Actually the minimum age of criminal capacity was changed when the Child Justice Bill was introduced in 2002. The minimum age was raised to 10. The Bill was enacted 1 April 2010.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-05-04 07:15

    Which is crazy, I agree with Eduard, Castrate these rapping a-holes

      philip.venter1 - 2012-05-04 09:57

      Wiki wiki yo yo yo homies we got some cracka ass "rapping a-holes" in da hizouse dawg!!! WORD!

  • wayne.kukard - 2012-05-04 07:28

    They were old enough to rape the Girl but not old enough to get charged for the crime!!!!!!!! THIS COUNTRY IS GOING TO THE DOGS PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!! TIME TO LEAVE THIS PLACE

  • Romeo - 2012-05-04 07:33

    What a useless state advocate, should it have been your daughter that was raped, it would have been a different story *pissed*

      Riëtte - 2012-05-04 10:17

      what makes it worse is that she is a woman!

  • thandazab - 2012-05-04 07:39

    WOW iam shocked! Wat a country we live in!! These so called children committed a disgusting crime bt they are just getting a slap on the wrist! If a 13 year old can rape a girl imagine the acts he could be capable of when 21 or older! Once again the justice system has failed the victim! N protecting the criminals. They are being asked to move to another location so they can repeat their acts to other innocent girls! When the community goes all vigilante on them guess who's goin to be arrested!

  • johan.vandervyver.3 - 2012-05-04 07:41

    The 'rape victim' was known as 'jackpot' in the comunity because she would ave sex with any man who would give her money or food. So this whole episode might not be rape at all!

      carol.b.dean1 - 2012-05-04 07:55

      Um.... there was a video of them raping her and her begging them to stop. Duh!!!

      Marion - 2012-05-04 08:01

      Whether she was called 'Rama legs', village bike or jackpot doesn't make rape right. According to earlier reports the video had sound and the sound indicated that she was crying and objecting. Even prostitutes can be raped by their 'johns'. And, to my knowledge, you must have the mental capacity to agree to sex. It sounds as though her mental age is a lot less than that of a 16-year-old.

      nsda29 - 2012-05-04 10:40

      Johan Shame on you! Just because you dont have a mentally disabled child you think you have a right to say that was agreed on. take a 4 yr old child and tell her you will give a barbie doll and sweets and you say thats not rape. Shame on you!!!!

      Schmee - 2012-05-04 11:00

      Johan, you should also be put on trial.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-04 12:14

      Johan, she is mentally retarded, and neglected. Hw can you say it may not have been rape after all?.

  • carol.b.dean1 - 2012-05-04 07:49

    In all fairness to them??? In respect of???? Where was that when they were raping that poor girl!!!

  • Marion - 2012-05-04 07:50

    "...but in all fairness to them we have put the MINIMUM we have against them". Why not put the MAXIMUM you have against them? Where is the fairness to the girl involved in this? Where is the justice?

  • Emmanuel - 2012-05-04 07:58

    The is sheet, how can you give the boys good time. Didn't they know what they were doing?

  • Khotso Thabo - 2012-05-04 08:12

    Rape is Rape if the law doesn't put things equally the state its self has raped the poor child & one thing we should know that South Africa they are good in protecting criminal & corruption

  • grantdean10 - 2012-05-04 08:23

    Tie them to a barrel and beat them with a big stick!!!!

  • billidp - 2012-05-04 08:26

    I don't understand...

  • Jenine - 2012-05-04 08:33

    Ms Coetzee, i fear you have made a rather large mistake - you shouldn't be surprised when the community takes matters into their own hands - lets see if the "Fairness" aspect comes into play then?? If it was my daughter and this was the outcome i can assure you that i would, as a mother, have no choice but to carry out the "Justice" aspect on my own - Fairness excluded - due the total incompetence of our so called Judicial System!

  • flowerfourie - 2012-05-04 08:38

    So f**king sick I can't believe that these rapists are probably not going to jail. I have to leave this country or even possibly this planet. Makes me want to go find them and kill them. How can you let someone that is without a doubt guilty get away with s##t like this.

  • nikita.clayton1 - 2012-05-04 08:45

    I hope there aren't any females where they'll be relocated to...

  • Thamsanqa - 2012-05-04 09:22

    Disgusted!!Y hasn't the president even spoken up about this? This is one shameful country allowing rapists to be protected?! *just shocked*

  • Thamsanqa - 2012-05-04 09:22

    Disgusted!!Y hasn't the president even spoken up about this? This is one shameful country allowing rapists to be protected?! *just shocked*

  • Colin - 2012-05-04 09:42

    "They did get bail of R500 each and they were placed under house arrest. They will change communities... they are just going to move for their own safety." - Seriously??

  • Riëtte - 2012-05-04 10:11

    This story makes me sick! They were big enough to rape a girl but now suddenly they are children? It's no wonder our society is so messed up, raping girls and then get away with it in spite of VIDEO evidence! Previous stories stated that she was crying and asking them to stop and they didn't, if that's rape then I don't know what is. And what does her mental state have to do with this, mentally disabled or not she was raped!

  • Katriena.LaGrange - 2012-05-04 11:01

    Anyone that can rape a person should be castrated. Hanged by their penis and then see if they will ever do it again. They are definately not sorry, why do you think the 3 Adults did not want out on bail, their superiors will stone them. They are to scared to go out of jail. That girls parents and elders will kill them for sure.... Hope they get what they deserve....

  • Jozan - 2012-05-04 11:10

    I'm not usually a fan of Kangaroo courts, but I do think the ladies of that community should be given the opportunity to explain to these young... gentlemen, that rape is wrong.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-05-04 11:54

    the idea that anyone over the age of ten does not know right from wrong is bullsh*t, these so called "kids" are the fore runners of tomorrows criminals. As for bail, why release them, being in their parents custody certainly didn't prevent them from committing the first offense, what guarantee do we have they will not be involved in something else while they await trail? On the up side if one of them did, the victim would have a clear cut case against the state

  • Jacqui - 2012-05-04 12:09

    Criminally incapable under a certain age. Well then tell that to the parents of little Jamie Bulger aged two killed by two boys far below the age of thirteen. Oh and while you're at it, tell that to the wife of the man shot by his own eight year old. The time is right that these stupid archaic laws are thrown out the window.

  • rianette.kemp - 2012-05-04 12:41


  • Nockx - 2012-05-04 18:59

    What the deuce!!! They rapist like any other. What if they do it again?

  • Thembi - 2012-05-05 08:05

    Sounds like rape is now a sport in this country coz its treated as a norm

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