Man gets 10 years for rape of lesbian, despite claims of shoddy investigation


Man gets 10 years for rape of lesbian despite claims of shoddy investigationOn Tuesday, the Sexual Offences Court in Parow, in the Western Cape, handed down a ten-year sentence for the rape of a woman known to her community to be lesbian.

According to Triangle Project, the sentence, which it welcomed, was the result of “tireless and persistent efforts” by its activists “to ensure that this case was given due process and that justice was delivered.”

The LGBTI group applauded the survivor of the attack for her “determination and bravery” in standing her ground against the rapist.

“The nature of sexual assault often means that the survivor and the attacker live in the same community, giving the attacker the scope and power to intimidate and silence. This case was no different, with threats driving the survivor from her own home and adding another layer to her ordeal,” said the group.

It  slammed the police for taking several months to apprehend the woman’s rapist and claimed that “their poor investigation placed any chance of justice in serious jeopardy.”

Despite this, Triangle said it was encouraged and reassured that “certain individuals within the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) remain willing to work hard to put an end to hate crimes against LGBTI people.”

The group noted that in her closing arguments the prosecutor emphasised that the crime was made more detestable when placed within the context of increasing violence and hate crimes against LGBTI people across South Africa.

Although the case is now concluded, Triangle Project revealed that it is monitoring six other active cases throughout the province, “all marked by poor investigations, endless delays and an unlikely prospect of meaningful justice.”

“While we applaud the NPA for their diligence in this matter, we continue to call on government to strengthen the capacity of SAPS in investigating all crimes, but particularly those against LGBTI people,” said Sindiswa Thafeni, Community Engagement and Empowerment Manager at Triangle.

Thafeni called on the government to “speedily submit the Hate Crimes Bill to parliament in order to give LGBTI people, SAPS and the NPA the tools and support they urgently need to begin addressing these crimes which so thoroughly undermine the human dignity of the entire LGBTI community.”

The South African government recently told the United Nations Human Rights Committee that the bill will be released to the public for consultation in the coming months and will be submitted to Parliament “probably in the second half of 2016…”

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