oa Article 40 - Thirteen year old boy implicated in gang rape of seventeen year old mentally disabled girl from Soweto - a case of criminal capacity

Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-4382



Recent events surrounding the horrific rape of a 17-year old girl with a mental disability by four boys and three men in Soweto left South Africa deeply shocked and disturbed. In April 2012, graphic footage of the rape went viral on social networking sites. The video showed seven people, including four minors, taking turns to rape a 17-year-old Soweto teenager. The rape victim then went missing and was later found in the company of a 37-year-old man. The assailants face several counts of rape, sexual assault, engaging the sexual service of a minor for reward, using a minor to create child pornography, committing a sexual act in the presence of a minor and committing a sexual act in the presence of an adult. It has now been established that one of the alleged perpetrators is a boy of 13 years. In terms of the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008, it is imperative to determine if the 13-year old has criminal capacity. Criminal capacity is the ability to know the difference between right and wrong and to act in accordance with that knowledge.

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