Predator, who raped child in front of sibling, sentenced to life

A prosecutor argued in court that there is a serious problem that requires attention with the prevalence with which children are exposed to pornography and the severity of sexual assault against them.

This is in relation to the Alexandra Magistrates’ Court sentencing Dale Mbhuri Mhlongo, 22, to two terms of life imprisonment for raping an eight-year-old girl twice and six years for forcing two children, ages four and eleven, to witness sexual assault and watch pornography.

Mhlongo’s horrific offences happened in 2021 at his home and the home of the three victims when their parents left them under his care.

Four-year-old witnessed sibling’s rape

“He pounced on the girl when she was busy taking off her school uniform. He at some stage instructed the 11-year-old to hold the girl’s mouth from screaming when he penetrated her,” said Gauteng regional National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.

Mjonondwane added that the four-year-old witnessed everything while they were in the room.

The minor girl reported the incidents to her aunt while visiting during the school holidays, and the aunt in turn informed the child’s mother, and the police were notified.

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“The Control Prosecutor, Percy Ramushu, argued that the prevalence of minors being exposed to pornography and the level of sexual violence against them represents a grave challenge that demands law enforcement and the judiciary’s concerted action to promote the well-being and safety of children,” Mjonondwane.

Prosecutor had to gain complainant’s trust

According to her, he told the court that he had difficulty consulting with the complainant and had to befriend her to gain her trust to be able to share her ordeal.

Ramushu requested that the court impose the life term that is prescribed, and Magistrate Hannelie Banks granted his request.

Despite Mhlongo’s attorney’s request for ten years in jail because he is young and still has a future ahead of him, Mjonondwane said that the pre-sentence report and victim impact statements also recommended direct imprisonment.

“The NPA will continue fostering a safer environment for children by prosecuting perpetrators of such devastating crimes as we are alive to the fact that the consequences of these crimes are long-lasting and go beyond physical harm,” said Mjonondwane.

Advocate against child exploitation and abuse

“We continue to advocate against the normalisation of child exploitation and abuse.”

ALSO READ: Father sentenced to two life terms for rape, attempted murder of 11-months-old daughter

The NPA further commended Ramushu and Sergeant Mapule Phukungwane for adding value to this course. 

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