HIV-positive rapist teacher gets life

There were 696 deaths in custody in 2012/13 compared to 932 in the previous financial year. File photo
There were 696 deaths in custody in 2012/13 compared to 932 in the previous financial year. File photo

The HIV-positive Soweto primary schoolteacher who raped a schoolboy has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Magistrate Audrey Mpofu found yesterday that there was no reason for her to give the 46-year-old teacher a lesser sentence than the prescribed minimum of life for the rape of a child younger than 16.

The teacher appeared in the Protea Magistrate's Court in Soweto.

In April, Mpofu found the teacher - who cannot be identified to protect the identities of the minor complainants - guilty of raping the boy, then aged 10, on the school premises in November 2013.

He was acquitted on a charge of raping a second boy, then nine years old, at Maponya Mall.

The boy claimed the teacher offered him a lift home from soccer practice but raped him in a bathroom at the mall.

Defence attorney Jaco Strydom pleaded with the court for a lesser sentence.

He said the man had already been in custody for almost two years, had lost his house and cars as well as the retirement fund he had accumulated over his 17-year career.

His five children were now living with their paternal grandmother as their mother had been in hospital for two months, Strydom said.

Strydom added that the teacher had been humiliated through having his personal affairs aired in the media for the whole country to see and that this was punishment enough.

Prosecutor Cheryl Slack called for the life sentence. She said the man did not use a condom when he raped the boy, placing the child in danger of being infected with HIV.

Slack said his job as a teacher had placed him in a position of power and trust and asked that the court consider the impact his action had on the boy, whose life would never be the same again, and his family.

Mpofu said the man was educated and fully aware of the effects of HIV because he had been living with the virus for eight years.

"As a teacher, the victim placed trust in you. It would have been difficult for the boy to come out and denounce your actions.

"He must have been quite conflicted," Mpofu said.

"I have looked with a heavy heart as the accused's family has disintegrated, as his wife is in hospital and [his] kids are living with their grandmother.

"But all this weighs little against your crime."

The man will also be listed on the National Register for Sex Offenders.

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