The High Court of South Africa: Eastern Cape Division, sitting in Bhisho, sentenced Siyanda Madlebe (47), to life imprisonment for repeatedly raping a nine-year-old girl on numerous occasions. The court also ordered that his name be included in the National Register of Sexual Offenders. Madlebe was the boyfriend of the victim’s grandmother, and they stayed together at Gxulu Location, in the district of Keiskammahoek in the year 2018 and 2019.

Their living arrangement was that the victim was sleeping in the kitchen while her granny and Madlebe slept in the bedroom. During the night, Madlebe would come to the kitchen, undress the victim and rape her. He would close her mouth with his hand to prevent her from screaming and threatening to kill her if she reported the rape.

The sexual assaults continued on numerous occasions until the young girl informed her grandmother. However, she did not believe her but admonished her. The grandmother even threatened to kill the victim with a knife, if she continued “telling lies about her boyfriend”. Even after the girl told her friend, the grandmother refused to believe her.

Madlebe was only arrested after the victim told her mother after moving out of her grandmother’s home in 2021. During the trial, Madlebe pleaded not guilty, barely denying everything. Adv. Nocwaka Blorweni-Tokota led the evidence of the victim, her mother, her friend and Investigating Officer, Sergeant Candy Gala, to convince the court of Madlebe’s guilt.

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