“The accused is not a first offender and has been convicted of rape twice prior to this incident. What is more aggravating is the fact that the accused was out on parole when he committed this rape”
OVERWHELMING DNA evidence and a positive photo album identification led to a Northern Cape High Court judge handing down a life sentence to Edgar Ndlovu, 45, who was found guilty of raping a nine-year-old girl while out on bail for another rape case.
The incident took place in an open veld behind the Galeshewe police station on January 17, 2018. Ndlovu was out on parole for another rape incident at the time and his DNA profile linked him to the rape of the child.
Northern Cape High Court Acting Judge Amanda Venter said that Ndlovu’s DNA was positively matched by various DNA and biology experts.
“The doctor who examined the child after the incident put her clothes and swabs in a sealed bag and handed it to the investigating officer in the matter. The investigating officer then put the sealed bag inside a rape kit which was handed to an officer who transported the kit to a laboratory in Cape Town. His DNA profile, which was on a database, was positively linked to the incident. The accused was also positively identified by the victim from a photo album even though the accused was unknown to her,” said Venter.
Venter added that she could not find any substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed life sentence.
“The accused is not a first offender and has been convicted of rape twice prior to this incident. What is more aggravating is the fact that the accused was out on parole when he committed this rape,” she said.
Venter pointed out that the child not only suffered severe physical injuries but would also later realise the traumatic repercussions of this event.
“The complainant suffered severe injuries and had to undergo a colostomy procedure due to the forceful penetration of her private parts and anus. The child was severely traumatised and had to be hospitalised. She could not go to school and also had to miss school because of the colostomy bag that was attached to her. I can only imagine how embarrassed she must have felt, I would also be embarrassed. Only time will tell the severity of the trauma the complainant suffered.”
Venter further described the evidence of the child as credible.
“The child testified that on January 17, between 8pm and 9pm, she went to a veld to collect empty egg boxes. By 10pm the child had not returned home and the mother and her friend went to look for the child. They could not find her and headed towards the police station and found her on their way to the police station.
“The child told her mother about the rape and they went to report the matter to the police. The child testified that she was met by an elderly man when she was sent to collect boxes by her mother. She accompanied the man to Shoprite where he withdrew money. She said the man told her to accompany him to another woman’s house but she refused. She said the man took her to a veld where he told her to take off her clothes. She said the street lights were on and there was light at the place. The man told her not to scream and said he would stab her. She said she saw the knife. By using dolls, she showed how the perpetrator penetrated her. He then took her to another spot and penetrated her again. He again took her to a third spot where he again penetrated her. She said this spot was dark,” said Venter.
She added that the testimony of the doctor also corroborated the child’s version that she was penetrated multiple times.
“The doctor testified during her examination that she could see that the child’s external private area was red. She had difficulty walking. The hymen was totally destroyed. The doctor performed an operation and a colostomy bag was attached to the child. The doctor came to the conclusion that the child was forcefully penetrated and that the anus was also penetrated resulting in the damage. This evidence is in support of the evidence of the child where she stated that the man raped her multiple times.”
Venter said that Ndlovu’s testimony that the witnesses were colluding against him, was false.
“The accused alleged that the witnesses colluded against him as he could not explain how his DNA ended up inside the complainant. He said he was working on the day and was home later that evening. He said he would sometimes go out but would be back by 10pm. He pleaded not guilty and said he was not the perpetrator.”
She went on to say that Ndlovu’s version was “ludicrous”.
“I am mindful that the complainant is a single witness of an incident that occurred during the evening. However, the child was able to relay what happened that night. There was enough light to see the perpetrator. The DNA, photo album and the doctor’s findings corroborate the testimony of the child. It is highly unlikely and ludicrous that the witnesses colluded against the accused. I am satisfied that none of them tampered with the evidence and did their investigations as well as examinations diligently,” said Venter.
Ndlovu attempted to apply for leave to appeal but Venter turned down the application. “There is no other court that can come to another decision,” she said.
Venter also made a ruling that Ndlovu’s name be entered into the National Register for Sex Offenders, which prohibits him from working with children or becoming a foster parent. She also made a further ruling that should Ndlovu apply for parole, the family of the complainant be notified should they want to oppose the application.