5 life terms for rapist
A “NOMADIC serial child rapist” who “baited” unsuspecting boys with cellphones was yesterday given five life terms.
Menzi Shandu (25) was also sentenced for statutory rape and sexual assault but all the sentences will run concurrently with the life sentence.
Shandu committed the offences between June 2016 and February 2017 in France Township, Ndaleni near Richmond and Illovo near Amanzimtoti.
Pietermaritzburg high court Acting Judge Anand Maharaj said that Shandu moved from “place to place” when people found out about what he had done.
The judge added that Shandu had violated the children’s rights to privacy and dignity. He lured and enticed them to satiate his lust and desires, using a cellphone as bait. The judge added that Shandu made the boys feel safe and to trust him by lending them his cellphones or tablet to play games. He invited them into his house and then raped and sexually assaulted them.
“Children are always vulnerable. The younger they are the more vulnerable they are … they are often abused by people they know. You [Shandu] thought you could get away with it, that’s why you ran away,” he said.
The judge said he put their lives at risk by not protecting himself. He accepted that the children never contracted any sexual diseases because nothing to this effect was placed before him. The judge said that Shandu’s actions were “horrifying, cruel and selfish”. “These types of offences is no doubt humiliating and degrading,” he said.
Judge Maharaj said that every child has the right to grow up in a crime-free environment, but this can’t happen because of people like Shandu.
“It is beyond comprehension that you [Shandu] would even seek out an eight-year-old child to rape,” he said.
State advocate Frank van Heerden handed many victim impact statements to the court, made by the boys and their family members.
Most of the boys said that their performance at school was suffering as a result of the abuse.