A 42-year-old North West man, Andries Sefume, was slapped with a life sentence by the Itsoseng regional court on Monday for the rape of his 23-year-old niece.
The court further declared him unfit to possess a firearm.
Evidence sealed the case
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Henry Mamothame said that evidence was presented in court.
It revealed that in the early hours of December 24, 2021, the complainant was sleeping at her grandmother’s house in Bodibe.
She was there to visit for the holidays.
He explained: “The accused, who is her uncle, knocked on the door and she opened for him and proceeded to sleep.
“After a short while, she was awakened by the uncle, who was on top of her.
“He then overpowered her and proceeded to rape her repeatedly.
Mamothame said that the accused was caught in police nets a year later on December 31, 2022 and the court denied him bail.
Arrest and trial
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
State prosecutor Itumeleng Boikanyo urged the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment as there were substantial and compelling circumstances to do so.
Magistrate Ndade Maphango agreed with the state and remarked on the prevalence of rape in society.
Hard stance on rape
Maphango said this calls for the court to act decisively against the perpetrators.
The Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West, Dr Rachel Makhari, lauded the prosecutor and Sergeant Bongi Mofokeng.
The two were lauded for their collaboration on a successful conviction.
She further lauded the court for its hard stance in dealing with perpetrators of such crimes.
During his announcement of crime statistics for the second quarter of 2023 in August, Police Minister Bheki Cele focused on GBVF (gender-based violence and femicide).
He said many of the reported rape cases took place at the residence of the perpetrator or that of the victim.
He also said that some of these crimes are committed by family members against their relatives, friends and neighbours.
Rally against GBVF
Cele called on communities to be allies against crime, adding that this cannot be understated.
“When it comes to the prevention and combating of GBVF, it remains a betrayal of humanity to look away.
“This means we ignore abuse and violence of anyone, let alone women, children and other vulnerable groups in society.
“It is our resolve to ensure that perpetrators of violence against women, children and vulnerable groups are brought to book.”