A MAN who raped an eight-year-old girl has been sentenced to life imprisonment after he was found guilty.Willy Khoza (41), from Cottondale Village outside Acornhoek in Mpumalanga, will spend his first Christmas behind bars. after he told the court he was lead by evil spirits to commit the crime. He appeared before magistrate Elmarie Theron at Mhala Regional Court in Thulamahashe near Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga yesterday.The court heard that in February 2014 Khoza dragged the victim to his house on her way from school and raped her. He ordered the victim not to tell anyone about the rape and threatened to kill her.Social worker Nyiko Lubisi told the court the victim and her family were traumatised.suffered from trauma because during the interviews, they didn’t want to talk about the rape but wanted to move on with life putting their trust in court for justice. “The victim has been affected negatively. Even at school she is not doing well after she was raped,” said Lubisi.Khoza had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge of rape, but later claimed he did not mean to commit the crime but was led by evil spirits. “I am a first-time offender and I ask for mercy for my actions. I would not repeat this in the future,” he told the court.Prosecutor Matume Maake asked the court not to deviate from proposing a maximum sentence as the accused didn’t even show a sign of remorse. Magistrate Theron said the court was guided by principles when it had to impose sentences., and other offenders must learn from this.“The victim has suffered humiliation at an early age. During her testimony she cried endlessly, so this court has sentenced you to life imprisonment,”“Your name will be placed in the national register of sexual offenders,” said Theron.
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