S v MD AND ANOTHER (2) 2017 (1) SACR 654 (ECB)

Rape— Sentence — Rape of child by father — Minor child — Even though accused was first offender and productive member of society, with prospects of rehabilitation, departing from prescribed minimum sentence would be for flimsy reasons.

Rape— Aiding and abetting rapist — Sentence — Mother assisting father in rape of minor child — Sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment imposed.


Accused 1 and 2 were the parents of nine-year-old girl who was raped on two occasions by accused 1 (the father), with the assistance of accused 2 (the mother) on the second occasion. The matter was postponed for purposes of sentence after they were convicted. The pre-sentence reports revealed that accused 1 was43-year-old first offender who cohabited with accused 2, with whom he had two children, including the complainant. He was gainfully employed as general worker and was the sole breadwinner of the household. Accused 2 was 37 years old and the recipient of disability grant. She was also first offender and unemployed. It was contended that there were substantial and compelling circumstances justifying the imposition of lesser sentence than life imprisonment since accused 1 was productive member of society, working and supporting his family and had good prospects of rehabilitation.

Held, that were the court to uphold the contentions advanced on behalf of accused 1, the court would be departing from the prescribed minimum sentence lightly, and for flimsy reasons (see [13]).

Held, further, that in the circumstances, sentence of life imprisonment had to be imposed on accused 1 as there were no substantial or compelling circumstances present (see [12] and [16]).

Held, further, that sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment would be appropriate in respect of accused 2.


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