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The accused denied the charges, telling court the children only come to his house to view his woodwork. Medical evidence showed otherwise.

The Modimolle Regional Court on Tuesday sentenced a 33-year-old foreign national to three life terms for raping three children aged eight, nine and 11.

Tinos Chimeze of Zimbabwe pleaded not guilty to all counts, alleging that the victims only came to his house to view his woodwork and that he even offered them food.

Evidence tells a different story

However, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi explained that the evidence painted a different picture.

“The evidence revealed that the accused had been luring the victims to his place in 2022, offering them soft drinks and food. He then proceeded to rape the victims in his house in the presence of all the victims,” she said.

“The incident was brought to the attention of the police by a social worker, who interviewed the victims.

“The accused had [also] taken the three victims to a social worker, alleging that he was taking care of them and that they needed food.”

However, medical evidence confirmed that the children were sexually abused.

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“The court rejected the version of the accused and convicted the accused on three counts of rape,” Malabi-Dzhangi added.

“In aggravation of sentence, regional court prosecutor Mokhobedi Desiree Tlhoaela submitted that there were no substantial and compelling circumstances to justify deviation from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment in each count.”

The court agreed and the sentence was served.

Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Ivy Thenga said that the NPA is committed to dealing with the scourge of rape by ensuring that perpetrators are brought to book and appropriately sentenced.

This, in turn, will serve to deter would-be offenders.

She also congratulated the prosecutor and investigators for their work.

ALSO READ: Police concerned about numerous child rape incidents

Child allegedly rapes child

On Friday, a seven-year-old pupil from a primary school in Shongoane village was allegedly raped by a Grade 7 boy in her school.

Limpopo MEC for social development, Nandi Ndalane urged parents and teachers to urgently educate their children about sexual health following the incident.

“Communities are encouraged to organise local structures that can be capacitated in sex and sexual health by our social work practitioners,” she said.

Additional reporting by Chulumanco Mahamba.

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