The African Heritage CEO received the judgement based on a three-count charge for rape of a minor.
Siqokoqela was also given a simultaneous two-month sentence for defying a court order by Bulawayo Regional Magistrate, Elijah Singano, who found him guilty of violating the victim’s constitutional rights.
Siqokoqela is thrice as old as his victim, who had respected him as a father figure. Sadly, the abuser betrayed the her trust and violated her and her family’s rights. It was reported that he had even threatened to hurt her should she report the abuse.
Mphoko’s lawyer had argued for a reduced sentence, stating the circumstances surrounding his client. Some of the circumstances include his health problems, young family and other immovable property. On their own side, the Prosecution argued that the most affected is the victim, who would suffer psychologically for life.
The magistrate, however, said the child’s best interest would be ensured by the court. It stated that many of the victim’s constitutional rights were defied. They include privacy, good health, education, and dignity. He then agreed to the defense’s request to treat all three counts as one for sentencing.
He said, “Lawfully each count of rape is equal to 10 years in prison and sentencing the accused 30 years for each count will be on the harsh side considering that it is the same victim and in a short space of time. The court is inclined to impose 20 years of imprisonment for all three counts and unfortunately, the court cannot further suspend this sentence as it will be taken for belittling this serious crime. The accused is therefore sentenced to an effective 20 years in prison for count one to three and two months for count four which will be served concurrently with the previous counts.”