Tebogo Msimanga |
The Soshanguve Magistrate’s Court sentenced a self-proclaimed prophet Delani Erick Zwane (28) to two life terms for the rape of two minor girls aged 14 and 15. Zwane was initially charged with 3 counts of rape, however, he was acquitted on one count of rape of an 18-year-old woman. All the victims are from the same neighbourhood as Zwane in Soshanguve, Pretoria.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Lumka Mahanjana said the two minor girls were friends and consulted with Zwane on different occasions in 2018. They were given a drink that made them feel dizzy, then he proceeded to ask them to undress so they can steam. “While steaming, he raped them and threaten to kill them with “muti”, a traditional medication should they tell anyone about the incident.”
Mahanjana said in February 2019, a mother of one of the girls had gone to consult another Prophet, who told her that her child was raped by Zwane. “The mother confronted the child who admitted and also informed her about her friend as well.” The parents of the victims went to Zwane’s home in an attempt to confront him. He saw community members in his yard from a distance and fled for 6 months but later returned and handed himself over to the police on 25 September 2019. “He was arrested and kept in custody.”
Zwane pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him, the state proved its case beyond reasonable doubt that indeed Zwane committed these crimes he was accused of.
Prosecutor Sifiso Hlongwane argued that “there can be no greater crime than to deprive a child of her innocence, especially a vulnerable child”. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) welcomed the sentence.