Staff Reporter |
The Phokeng Magistrates’ Court sentenced Guilhermo Jose Thomas Uchaio (54), a Mozambican national, to life imprisonment for raping a 12-year-old girl.
His conviction emanates from an incident that occurred on 20 November 2022 at Freedom Park, near Tlhabane, where the accused was a tenant at the complaint’s home. On the said day, a former tenant went to the mother of the victim and told her that she had a prophecy about the complaint being in danger, and she enquired about her whereabouts. The mother pointed to the shack of the accused, as the child was earlier seen assisting him with his chores.
The former tenant went to look for the child, but there was no response from the shack. She testified that she saw the accused jumping out of his bed naked when she peeped through the window. She then went back to the mother to indicate that the child was not there, but the mother insisted that the child was inside the shack. They then went back, and upon arrival, the child was standing outside the door, and she told them that the accused raped her. She was immediately rushed to the doctor, who confirmed that the child was violated. The matter was reported to the police and the accused was arrested, and the court denied him bail.
In aggravation of sentence, the state prosecutor, Obed Molope urged the court to consider the psychological harm that the incident did to the minor, thus persuading it not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment. Magistrate Segakweng Moeng agreed with the state and remarked that the accused abused his powers, as he knew that the victim trusted him.
The Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West, Dr Rachel Makhari, lauded the prosecutor, investigating officer from the SAPS, as well as other role players who ensured that the perpetrator is brought to book.