State appeals rapist’s fine after AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit writes to NPA

Adv. Moipone Noko, Director of Public Prosecution for the North West division, yesterday announced that the state is taking steps to appeal the sentence of a fine for a convicted rapist. This follows after AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit wrote a letter to Shamila Batohi, Head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), in this regard. Magistrate Ike Motswai on 16 July 2019 sentenced convicted rapist Kebabaletsoe Motseko in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrates Court to eight years imprisonment or the option of a fine of R10 000.

The charge relates to the rape of the student victim Reneiloe Motsepe which occurred in September 2018. Even though Motsepe laid a charge of rape at the police station immediately after the incident, the SAPS in Ga-Rankuwa however dragged their heels in dealing with the matter. Motseko pleaded guilty on the charge of the rape of Motsepe.

AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit got involved in the case after Motseko’s family tried to bribe Motsepe into dropping the case. Motsepe’s family approached AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, whereafter the unit put pressure on the police to properly investigate the charge. This led to Motseko finally being prosecuted by the NPA.

The magistrate however, after numerous postponements, decided not to impose the minimum sentence for rape, despite the fact that there were not substantial and compelling circumstances to justify this deviation. The family of the rapist also had R10 000 at the court and could pay the fine immediately, after which Motseko was released.

“It is important for AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit to get involved with cases like these, firstly because the police cannot be selective when it comes to the prosecution of suspects, and secondly because the legal system in this case failed the victim. The sentence imposed by the magistrate in this case, is shockingly inappropriate and makes a mockery of the legal system. We are satisfied that our continued pressure convinced the NPA that there are ground for appeal. We will continue fighting until justice has prevailed in this case,” says Andrew Leask, Investigator at AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit.

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