Lusikisiki man sentenced for raping mentally challenged woman

Thobela Khulani from Lusikisiki in Eastern Cape has pleaded guilty to raping a mentally impaired woman.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the crime happened in July 2021 in Mantlaneni in the district of Lusikisiki.

The 35-year-old was linked to the crime through DNA examinations. He was sentenced to life behind bars by the Lusikisiki regional court on Wednesday.

NPA spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said after the victim showed her mother what had happened, she was taken to the hospital.

“The mother immediately went to open a case and she was taken to the St Elizabeth Thuthuzela Care Centre, where DNA swabs were taken,” said Tyali.

“The victim was later able to point out Khulani after the community had rounded all men in the village and conducted their impromptu identity parade.

In a separate case, Avela Somhlahlo, an uncle to a three-year-old boy was found guilty and sentenced for raping the boy.

Somhlahlo pleaded guilty to raping his toddler nephew when his sister, the mother of the victim, was away in September 2021.

He admitted that he promised to buy the victim sweets and lured him to his room where he sexually assaulted the boy.

“Somhlahlo was arrested after the victim reported to his mother who took him to St Elizabeth Hospital Thuthuzela Care Centre. The victim was badly injured, so much so that he uses an artificial instrument to relieve himself,” Tyali said.

Eastern Cape director of public prosecutions Barry Madolo commended the prosecutor, the care centre staff and the investigating officers for a job well done, saying the sentences were an indication that the NPA’s strategies targeted at Lusikisiki, dubbed the “rape capital of South Africa”, were bearing the desired fruits.

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