An Eastern Cape man who was convicted of the rape of a 15-month-old baby last month was sentenced on Thursday in the Bhisho High Court.
Previously, HeraldLive reported that Madala Peter Tshemese, 62, from Mdantsane, who is not related to the child, had pleaded not guilty in October 2018 to the rape.
The publication reported that the child was found in Tshemese’s bed by his wife in October 2015. She found blood on the nappy and the romper buttons of the child were loosened. The nappy contained no semen.
During the trial, forensic nurse Vuyokazi Magwaza testified that the child’s hymen was broken and a fresh tear of the vagina and swelling was found on the little girl.
Judge Belinda Hartle, who handed down the sentence, said there was an inconsistency of evidence between Tshemese’s plea of innocence and the evidence presented to her and she was satisfied with the medical evidence that the victim had been sexually penetrated.
According to DispatchLive, Hartle stated that Tshemese did not take responsibility for his actions and was not remorseful.
She therefore sentenced him to 18 years’ imprisonment for the rape of the toddler.
Speaking to the publication, Siyamthanda Ndlela, a women and children’s rights activist from the Total Shutdown Movement, said people needed to stop abusing women and children.
She said she wondered what attracted Tshemese to a baby as “there would have been excuses of dress code if it was an adult”.
Ndlela applauded the Eastern Cape judiciary as they have been seeing the finalisation of gender-based violence and femicide cases.
She said the courts were working hard to serve justice to the people.