RUSTENBURG HERALD - PHOKENG - The Tlhabane Regional Court sentenced a 55-year-old man to 20 years imprisonment for sexually violating his 6-year-old niece.
Lebogela Motswadi (55) was declared unfit to possess a firearm and his name will now be included in the register of sexual offenders. He was further declared undesirable to work with children.
The conviction emanates from an incident that occurred on New Year's day 2018 in Phokeng while the family was celebrating at their home. Just after midnight the mother of the 6-year-old noticed that her child was not with her cousins where they were playing. She subsequently went to the back of the house to look for the child, and she found her next to the uncle, looking frightened. Upon enquiring why she was frightened, she told her mother that the uncle kissed her and inserted his finger in her private parts.
The child was taken for medical examination, and the matter was reported to the police. The accused was arrested two days later and granted bail.
Motswadi then failed to appear in court, and a warrant of his arrest was issued, and he was rearrested and remained in police custody until the completion of trial. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, and it was discovered during investigations that he had two previous convictions of rape that occurred in 1988 and 1999.
In aggravation of sentence, the state prosecutor, Sangweni Zimema, highlighted to the court the trust that the child had for the accused, and he instead abused it. Magistrate Segakweng Moeng agreed with the state and remarked that the age of the accused and the severity of the case cumulatively constitute compelling and substantial factors, resulting in a 20-year jail term.
The Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West, Dr Rachel Makhari, lauded the prosecutor, Warrant Officer Obed Ramahoyo, and other role-players for a collaboration that yielded a successful conviction.