POTCHEFSTROOM: 27 May 2021- The Itsoseng Regional Court has on Tuesday, 25 May 2021, sentenced Gopolang Piet Lempe (36) to 20 years imprisonment for raping the then 11-year-old minor.

The victim was on Monday, 7 October 2013 at about 19:00, playing with two friends near her home at Verdwaal No. 2 (Sonderwater) outside Itsoseng near Lichtenburg when they were approached by an unknown male person who asked the victim to accompany him to the shop. The victim refused and the suspect grabbed the victim, but her friends managed to flee back to the victim’s home. Moreover, the suspect forcefully dragged the victim to an open field near the Power Station where he forced the victim to undress. The victim refused and the suspect assaulted her and subsequently raped her without using protection. After the incident, the victim managed to flee and ran back home where she reported the incident to her mother who informed the police.

The search for the suspect was immediately launched and he was eventually arrested on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 and charged with rape and assault. Police managed to oppose the bail and the accused has been in detention since his arrest. He was found guilty of both charges and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. The accused was also declared unfit to possess a firearm in terms of Section 103 of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No. 60 of 2000).

The Acting Provincial Commissioner of North West, Major General Dintletse Molefe lauded the Investigating Officer, Detective Sergeant Itumeleng Godfrey Letshoo of Lichtenburg Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit for a sterling job. She reiterated that the police will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that perpetrators of violence against women and children are brought to book. She also thanked the National Prosecuting Authority for the successful prosecution.