Traditional healer gets 10-year sentence for raping pregnant woman

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  • A traditional healer was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment for raping a woman.
  • The woman was eight months pregnant at the time.
  • He convinced the woman that a ritual to save the life of her unborn baby needed to be done.

The Phokeng Regional Court in North West sentenced a 27-year-old traditional healer to 10 years for raping a pregnant woman in 2019.

Ratang William Moitshodi was sentenced on Friday.

According to police, on 26 January 2019,  Moitshodi approached the victim, who was with her sister in Lefaragatlha village. She was eight months pregnant at the time.

He introduced himself as a prophet, told the victim he had premonitions about her pregnancy, and that she may suffer a miscarriage.

He convinced her to accompany him to his place, where they would perform a ritual to save the unborn baby.

READ | Eastern Cape initiate disappears hours before ceremony

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Henry Mamothame said because she feared losing her second child, as she had previously miscarried, the woman then agreed for a ritual to be performed.  

"The two went to Moitshodi's house and he led her into an outside room, where he consults and does rituals. He then laid what was described as a sangoma's cloth on the ground and instructed the victim to take off her clothes and lay on her back, to which she complied," said Mamothame.

Moitshodi then took out some traditional medicine and started rubbing it on the victim's belly. Shortly afterwards, he moved to the victim's private parts.

READ | Mpumalanga man jailed for life for raping mentally disabled teenager

In her testimony, the woman told the court that Moitshodi took off his pants and raped her. 

She reported the matter to the police and the accused was arrested on 27 January 2019.

"In aggravation of sentence for direct imprisonment, advocate Matshidiso Molope urged the court to consider the manipulation by the accused as it instilled fear on a vulnerable woman who did not want to lose a child," the NPA said.

Molope also urged the court to consider the traumatic experience suffered by the victim, as well as the danger the accused exposed the baby to as a non-medical doctor, in that he acted dangerously towards a heavily pregnant woman.

"Magistrate Segakweng Moeng shared the State's sentiments and alluded to the fact that the criminal justice system has a responsibility to protect vulnerable women and children against the likes of Moitshodi," said Mamothame.

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