The victim was kidnapped, held captive and gang-raped for three days.
Sindile Lennox Somdaka, 55, was further sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for kidnapping and 12 months for assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.
According to evidence before the court, on the morning of May 17, 2019, the 19-year-old victim was hitch-hiking from Butterworth to her home village of Mngomanzi before she was kidnapped.
A vehicle, driven by Somdaka, stopped and blocked the victim from the view of passers-by before one of the occupants of the vehicle covered her with a cloth and she became dizzy and passed out.
When the victim regained consciousness, she found herself naked and chained to a steel bed.
The victim was repeatedly gang-raped by three men for three days.
Somdaka then instructed that the victim be taken to the forest and shot dead.
The victim, naked at the time, managed to escape from the back of the vehicle in which she was being transported. She outran her captors through the forest.
She sought refuge at an area near the Msobomvu township.
She was rescued and the individuals who assisted her took her to Msombuvu police station where they found Somdaka’s vehicle standing guard nearby.
The victim was then taken to Butterworth police station.
She took police officers to the homestead where she was held captive in Mission Location.
The court heard that police officers established that the homestead belonged to Somdaka. He was subsequently arrested at a taxi rank.
During the trial, Somdaka claimed to have been in a romantic relationship with the victim.
Under cross-examination, he could not explain the injuries the victim had sustained.
He also refused to take the court in his confidence and reveal the identities of his accomplices.