By Amelia Johnson|
A court in South Africa has sentenced a 26 year-old man to life imprisonment for the rape of a nine year-old girl.
Senzo Hlongwa was convicted and sentenced by the Pietermaritzburg regional court in a landmark case aimed at sending a warning to other rape offenders around the country. South Africa is the rape capital of the world, with a woman being attacked every few seconds. Rights groups say the majority of cases go unreported due to the stigma associated with rape in this highly traditional society.
According to state prosecutors, Hlongwa raped the girl at Taylors Hall area in 2011.
“The victim was sent by her elder to Hlongwa’s house when she was raped. A case of rape was opened at Taylors Halt police station,” said the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Hlongwa was arrested and taken to court where he was convicted and sentenced after several court appearances.
“We will make sure that we thoroughly investigate all cases against women and children to make sure that criminals are kept behind bars,” SAPS’ KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner Lt General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said, commenting on the case.
The same court also convicted and sentenced to life in prison Thulani Zondi (34), who raped a 39 year-old woman at Sweetwaters in the Plessislaer area in 2010.
“The victim was on her way home when she was approached by Zondi, who forced her to a nearby bush and raped her. He was arrested and the investigation was conducted by the Plessislaer family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit,” according to state papers.
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