Joburg man loses his appeal against a rape conviction and life sentence in the Gauteng High Court.
A man’s appeal against a rape conviction and subsequent life sentence has been dismissed in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
Lucky Bubu Sekete and an accomplice gang-raped a woman Sekete had known for years.
Acting Judge Shereen Meersingh dismissed his appeal last week.
Meersingh said in her judgment:
This court is satisfied that the trial court properly exercised its discretion in imposing a life sentence. I accordingly make the following order: The appeal is dismissed in its entirety both on conviction and sentence.
According to court papers, on 21 November 2006, the victim bought two speakers and a subwoofer for R100 from Sekete who she had known for several years and considered to be a brother. Sekete gave her the speakers but not the subwoofer and said they would fetch it.
The woman went along with him to fetch it from a house in Johannesburg. There, they met Floyd Nkosana Simelane, who told them that he wanted to get some things from his place.
They accompanied him.
Simelane then invited both Sekete and the woman into his room. He locked the door and switched off the lights.
“[Simelane] ordered the [woman] to get onto the bed. She did not want to do so, but he pushed and slapped her.
“She screamed and he warned her to stop making a noise. Both appellants had sexual intercourse with the complainant. Her evidence is that she did not consent to such intercourse,” court papers read.
Simelane’s version during the trial was that Sekete told him the woman agreed to have sex with Sekete in exchange for the subwoofer.
Sekete, however, testified that he was scared that Simelane would shoot him if he didn’t have sexual intercourse with the complainant. He later changed his version and testified that he was not forced to have sexual intercourse with the complainant.
He confirmed that he accompanied the complainant to Simelane’s place to get the subwoofer, which was never given to her.
On 8 December 2009, Sekete and Simelane were convicted. They were sentenced on 26 March 2010.
A few years later, Sekete was granted leave to appeal.
It was not in dispute that the pair had sexual intercourse with the complainant. Instead, the appeal court had to decide whether it was consensual or not.
The appeal court found that Sekete’s version confirmed the complainant’s version in all material aspects and that the State had proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Turning to the life sentence, the court found, among other things, that a psycho-social report indicated that Sekete kept lying about the offence.
In addition, the victim impact statement revealed that the complainant experienced pain for three days and that she had nightmares every day.
“This court, in weighing the interest of [Sekete], justice, and the interest of society, finds that the sentence imposed of life imprisonment is suitable and not shockingly inappropriate to the crime committed, especially in view of the prevailing circumstance surrounding the commission of this crime.
“A lesser sentence would be woefully inappropriate,” the court found.