rapist gets 4 years

Outraged women's rights groups have vowed to act against magistrates who impose lenient sentences on convicted rapists.

They were distressed by the sentencing of Moagi Molefe, who was jailed for four years for raping a woman in April last year.

Magistrate JF Steyn said he could not give Molefe the maximum sentence because he was a well-educated man with dependants and had not injured his victim.

Steyn said the woman, who was raped at knifepoint, was an adult.

"It's necessary to get you back into society as soon as possible," the magistrate told Molefe.

Molefe appeared in the Westonaria magistrates' court yesterday charged with raping nine women and trying to rape four others. The case was postponed to July 31 for further investigation.

Molefe is suspected of committing these crimes while out on R5000 bail pending his application to appeal against his first conviction and sentence.

On Friday his appeal was turned down in the Carletonville magistrate's court.

Lisa Vetten, a researcher and policy analyst at the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, said Molefe's sentence was "shockingly inappropriate".

Colleen Morna of Genderlinks said the "typical" sentence showed that the judicial system's was often biased in men's favour.