The Sterkspruit Regional Court has sentenced a 49-year-old man to life imprisonment after he was convicted on a charge of rape.
The incident took place on 7 January 2017 when Lunga Rashaga was attending a traditional ceremony at the home of the 14-year-old boy in their neighbourhood of Bamboespruit village, near Sterkspruit, in the Eastern Cape.
Rashaga lured the teenager and his older brother to his home under the pretext that they were to fetch a special kind of tobacco that would make them drunker because they ran out of traditional beer.
When the older brother left to relieve himself, Rashaga locked the door, overpowered the 14-year-old, and raped him.
Upon the return of the older brother, Rashaga told him he had sent the younger sibling to the shop to buy airtime, and refused to open the door.
The older brother became suspicious and called his grandmother.
They forcefully opened the door and found the terrified boy gagged with a cloth. He reported that he had been raped.
Rashaga was subsequently arrested but he was released on bail.
When the matter was due to be heard at the regional court, he absconded and a warrant of his arrest was issued.
He was arrested again in December 2020 and remained in custody until the trial was finalized.
Rashaga pleaded not guilty, claiming that his neighbours created the story because they hate him.
But state advocate Loyiso Methuso led evidence from the boy and his grandmother, who convinced the court that Rashaga was guilty as charged.
The court found no substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence for raping a minor.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) welcomed the sentence, with the hope that it clearly demonstrated that even if rape is committed against a male, the perpetrator would be prosecuted and punished accordingly.
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