High Court upholds conviction, sentence of man who raped mentally disabled 12-year-old

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has upheld the conviction and life sentence of Micheal Letsibane who was convicted of raping a mentally disabled 12-year-old in 2018.

In a statement by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Friday, the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Gauteng Division, advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi, welcomed the decision.

Letsibane was convicted of the statutory rape of the victim who was a minor at the time, mentally disabled and could also not hear, speak or see properly, according to the NPA.

The Fochville Regional Court had sentenced him to life.

"The accused appealed both the conviction and sentence to the High Court," NPA spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said.

"After considering the evidence and taking into account the effects this crime had on the victimised child, the High Court upheld the conviction and sentence."

Mzinyathi said he hoped the sentence would serve as a deterrent and send out a clear message sexual offences against women and children would not be tolerated.

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