A 20-year-old man who pleaded guilty to raping four boys aged between four and eight has been sentenced to four life terms by the Pietermaritzburg regional court in South Africa.
The man's stepbrother is one of the victims.
Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, a spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), said the incidents occurred in May 2021 in the Imbali region outside Pietermaritzburg.
Ramkisson-Kara stated in his appeal that the man had been suffering from depression following his break-up with his fiancée.
“He said he had initially considered suicide but decided to rape the boys instead.
"On the day of the incident, the children were playing outside his house when he called them individually into his room and raped them.”
She said the matter came to light when his stepbrother reported the rape to their father.
“Their father then approached the parents of the other boys and they all went to the Edendale Thuthuzela Care Centre (TCC) where the matter was reported.
"At the TCC, the children received psychosocial intervention as well as holistic medico-legal assistance.
"The man was then pointed out to the police and arrested.”
Ramkisson-Kara stated that the man was still in detention and the case was being tried when he chose to plead guilty.
Prosecutor Yashania Manickum told the court that the man's conduct demonstrated he was a menace to society, and that the boys had learned to fear elders at such a young and impressionable age.
Manickum also provided a victim impact statement (VIS), which was written by one of the children and assisted by court preparation officer Thobekile Babongile Chuene.
“In his statement, the boy said that he does not understand why the man had raped him. He said that he wished for the court to punish the man so that he will not do this to anyone else,” Ramkisson-Kara said.
She stated that when the man was sentenced, the court found him unable to possess a handgun and ordered that his name be recorded in the National Register of Sexual Offenders.
The NPA applauded the satisfactory conclusion of the matter.
"We will continue to fight for justice for crime victims, particularly the most vulnerable members of society."
"We applaud the prosecution and SAPS for their efforts," Ramkisson-Kara stated.