Man Rapes, Marries 14-Year-Old Girl

Man Rapes, Marries 14-Year-Old Girl

A 32 year old man, Mvumeleni Jezile has been sentenced to 22 years in jail for marrying a 14 year old girl, (her name not revealed), he had previously raped.

The incident happened in Ngcobo South Africa.

* Jezile

The victim found herself in “modern-day slavery”, in the words of a Wynberg magistrate, when she was sold for R8 000 and forced to marry a Jezile who held her captive and beat her for sex.

On Thursday, Wynberg Regional Court Magistrate Daleen Greyvensteyn sentencedJezile to an effective 22 years in jail for three counts of rape, human trafficking and assault.

Greyvensteyn said the situation had been terrifying for the Eastern Cape teenager, who had just finished Grade 7. She went to a nearby shop on behalf of an elder and the next moment she was sold to marry a man she didn’t know.

The girl was taken from her home and forced to go through a customary marriage to Jezile on February 2010. She escaped and ran back home. But her uncle and grandmother, who participated in the negotiations for Jezile’s bride, took her back to him.

Soon afterwards, the girl was put on a taxi bound for Cape Town. The girl lived with Jezile at his home in Brown’s Farm, Philippi, and was raped several times and beaten with a broomstick, whip and belt. She escaped again and fled to the police.

She is back with her mother in the Eastern Cape.

The case is the Western Cape’s first case of ukuthwala: the traditional practice of kidnapping a young woman in an attempt to force marriage negotiations. It is also the second human trafficking conviction.

Greyvensteyn said the girl was degraded and forced into a life of servitude. As a makoti “young bride” she was expected to cook and clean for her husband. “(But) the complainant was resilient and strong-willed with dreams of finishing school and marrying for love.”

“It’s intolerable that very serious crimes such as trafficking, rape and assault are committed under the guise of culture, tradition and religion. Both parties to any marriage must consent thereto. Hiding behind now defunct customs to satisfy one’s own needs must be discouraged.”

The court found substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment for raping a child.

The victim impact report states that the girl suffered from insomnia and when she fell asleep was haunted by nightmares.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila welcomed the sentence, saying it was the most severe penalty handed to someone convicted of human trafficking in South Africa. In 2011, in Lusikisiki Regional Court, a human trafficker was sentenced to seven years in jail.


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