Eastern Cape man jailed for life for raping estranged wife

A 35-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison for raping and sodomising his estranged wife in Motherwell, Eastern Cape, the National Prosecuting Authority has said.

Zukile July was sentenced on Wednesday by the Port Elizabeth High Court, said regional spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani.

July was handed a life sentence for three counts of rape and three years for assault with grievous bodily harm. The sentences will run concurrently.

Ngcakani said July and his then-30-year-old victim had attended a family gathering at a relative's house on 30 March 2018.

"After midnight, the victim went to sleep in one of the rooms. July called her and asked to join her.

"She agreed, and soon after he arrived in the room, grabbed, strangled, raped and sodomised her. During the assault, he bit her on various parts of her body to the point of biting off a portion of her left ear.

"After raping her, he fell asleep. She then managed to escape and ran to her cousin's home where she was rushed to hospital."

July was arrested in April 2018.

The acting Director for Public Prosecutions in the Eastern Cape, Livingstone Sakata, welcomed the hefty sentence.

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