Rape is a violent infringement of a person’s right to their privacy and body
A 27-YEAR-old man who was out on parole for a previous rape conviction has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment after he was again found guilty of rape.
Solomon Moseki was sentenced in the Kimberley Regional Court yesterday for the rape of a 20-year-old woman in August 2016.
The court heard that the incident happened while Moseki was on parole following a previous rape conviction.
According to evidence presented in court, Moseki, under false pretences, told the victim to accompany him to visit his girlfriend in De Beershoogte in Barkly West.
Moseki was in the company of another man.
The woman told the court that she knew Moseki and was friends with his girlfriend.
She testified that she was assaulted by Moseki and was injured when she fell on broken glass before he raped her.
Moseki’s legal representative, Joey Mabaso, argued that the fact that the incident did not last long and that there was “no extensive violence”, should be regarded as mitigating factors by the court.
“There was no extensive violence committed against the victim, although she did sustain injuries to her hand when she fell on the broken glass. There were also no gynaecological injuries inflicted on the complainant, which might have been because of the short duration of the incident. This was not a case where the complainant was viciously attacked and raped. This was not the ‘worst’ rape incident,” said Mabaso.
He added that although Moseki had a previous conviction for rape, the incident had not been premeditated.
“This was an opportunistic incident. The accused did not go around looking for a victim and merely came across the complainant. The accused never planned the incident.”
The State, represented by advocate Cornelia Deetlefs, disputed Mabaso’s remarks, stating that the incident had crushed the dignity of the complainant.
“Rape takes something from a victim that nobody can replace. The incident is not like a house that gets robbed or when a person has their cellphone stolen. People can even mourn those who are murdered and later make peace with the death. Victims of rape are, however, scarred for life. Those who commit these crimes take away the dignity of those who are violated,” she said.
Deetlefs pointed out that Moseki did not even abide by his parole conditions.
“The accused was out on parole for rape at the time he committed this offence. He was granted an opportunity to stay out of prison but he still went ahead and raped the complainant. The accused had an opportunity to rehabilitate himself but he did not make use of that. He carried out the act while he had a girlfriend.
“The courts have to show mercy, however, the accused showed no mercy to the complainant when he violated her as she screamed for help.”
Magistrate Veliswa Sityata said that Moseki had taken advantage of the complainant’s trust.
“The complainant trusted the accused as he was her friend’s boyfriend. The reason she accompanied the accused was that she felt safe in his presence. The accused led the complainant to believe that they were meeting his girlfriend. The conduct of the accused and the rape crushed the complainant’s trust. The accused took advantage of her as she was alone in the house with him and another man. She was subjected to humiliating behaviour,” said Sityata.
She added that the fact that the ordeal was not lengthy did not refrain from stripping the complainant of her humanity.
“Although the incident might not have lasted long, it did violate the complainant. Rape is a violent infringement of a person’s right to their privacy and body. Courts should impose sentences that show that women have the right to consent to sexual advances, even in cases where the women might be intoxicated.”
Sityata said the fact that the accused showed no remorse was an aggravating factor.
She stressed that the complainant had now been left with the trauma of the incident.
“Even though there was no evidence presented to the court regarding the impact of the rape on the complainant, the result has always been traumatic for complainants. It cannot be denied that almost all rape victims suffer from post-traumatic stress,” Sityata said.
She, however, conceded that there were compelling circumstances present in order to deviate from the prescribed 15-year sentence.
“Rape is a serious crime, however, it differs in severity. Although it was a serious crime, it was not one of the most severe incidents. Both the accused and the complainant had consumed alcohol on the night of the incident. To impose the prescribed sentence would not be just,” Sityata said.
Moseki was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.
His sentence will run concurrently with that of his outstanding three-year parole sentence.