In the Madadeni Regional court, a 29-year-old rapist has been given a life sentence. Thobani Madida was found guilty of kidnapping and assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) as well.
According to the presented evidence, the victim, who was 23 years old at the time, was at a local tavern, drinking with two others when Madida approached them and began drinking their alcohol without permission.
The tavern owner, whose girlfriend was present with the victim, intervened and asked Madida not to disturb the customers. In response, Madida took out a knife and stabbed the owner in the upper arm. The owner attempted to retaliate by obtaining a garden fork but was unable to do so due to his injuries.
The victim testified in court that she was forcibly taken by Madida, at knifepoint, from the tavern to a nearby forest where he demanded she undress before raping her. They later went to a nearby house where she was repeatedly raped.
The investigating officer informed the court that Madida’s family had tried to resolve the matter through mediation and offered financial compensation to the victim. The victim managed to locate and identify Madida based on another case he was involved in.
In her impact statement presented to the court, the victim expressed the emotional distress she suffered as a result of the crime. She experienced sleeplessness, was diagnosed with depression, and suffered from headaches whenever she recalled the incident.
Additionally, she developed a fear of men and walking alone at night. The statement also mentioned that the victim felt a sense of shame due to the social stigma associated with the incident.
During the trial, State prosecutor Bonginkosi Motha argued that Madida displayed a lack of respect for the victim’s physical well-being, freedom of movement, and human dignity.
Motha emphasized that rape is an inherently violent crime that causes harm to the victims, regardless of any additional physical injuries they may sustain. He further asserted that the crime of rape extends beyond mere physical penetration.
Motha requested that the court consider the interests of society and fulfill its duty to protect its members from living in constant fear of violence, whether directed towards their person or property.
Consequently, the court handed down a life sentence to Madida for the rape charge, along with five years of imprisonment for kidnapping and three years of imprisonment for assault GBH.