The gay survivor of a hate crime kidnapping and gang rape says he can finally restart his life after the Worcester Magistrates Court sentenced his attackers on Tuesday.
In October 2021, Rodney Beukes, Peter John Adams and a third individual who was a minor at the time of the crime, reputed to be members of the feared Ford Boys Gang, were found guilty of kidnapping and raping the unnamed man in Ceres in 2017.
The survivor, who was 23 when he was raped, testified that he believes that he was targeted because he is gay. Even though the criminals were found guilty last year, the survivor has had to endure months of delays for the sentences to be passed.
On Tuesday, justice was finally meted out to the criminals, concluding a case that spanned more than four years. Two of the older accused received 20-year sentences and the younger was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Responding to the sentencing, the survivor commented that he feels that his hate crime ordeal was a punishment he never asked for.
“I experienced embarrassment, shame, self-blame, fear, sadness, anger and disbelief. It took so much of my character and who I used to be,” he said. “Today justice has been been served. I expected their punishment to be more, particularly the 10 year sentence, for the humanity they stole from me and the pain they put me through.”
He added: “I can now start over and normalise my life in Heaven on earth where I currently find myself working and living.”
According to Triangle Project, which has monitored the case and supported the survivor, the court gave prominence to the victim impact statement and the lasting effects this crime has on rape survivors.
“He is no lesser a human because of his orientation.”
“The court added that this was a crime committed because of the sexual orientation of the survivor. Emphasis was placed in this case on discrimination on the grounds of one’s sexual orientation and the injury to one’s sense of autonomy and dignity,” said the organisation in a statement.
The magistrate asserted that the survivor “is no lesser a human because of his orientation”. The magistrate further commended the survivor for his courage in bringing the matter to court, especially in light of the social stigma that surrounds the rape of men.
Triangle also commended the survivor for his courage and thanked Investigating Officer Van Rooy and State Prosecutor Mr Theron “for their commitment to the case”.
Sharon Cox, Triangle Project’s Services Manager, told MambaOnline that the organisation was satisfied with the 20-year sentences but less so with the 10-year sentence given to the third rapist.
Cox explained that the lower sentence was due to him being a minor at the time of the crime and that the court believed that, although he initially pleaded not guilty, he had later taken some responsibility for the crime and showed some degree of remorse.
She pointed out, however, that it had come to light ahead of the sentencing that the individual had previously committed another serious and violent crime when younger and at the time of the commission of this crime, had been released from the detention facility with conditions in place.
“Through the lens of restorative justice, it is understandable that the court sentenced him more leniently. What is difficult to digest and hard to reconcile is the fact that he of the three has a violent criminal record.” Cox added that had the rapist been truly remorseful, “he would have pleaded guilty and apologised sincerely to the survivor, but this did not happen.”
Cox noted that the area in which this crime was committed has been a particularly unsafe place for LGBTIQ+ persons, with several murders and rapes having taken place before this incident. “It is hoped that a successful conviction will begin to send a message to communities that hate is not acceptable and will not be tolerated,” she said.