HIV-positive child rapist jailed for life

An HIV-positive man, who may have infected an 11-year-old girl he raped, was jailed for life by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday.

Bhoyi Plaatjies (44) of Pietermaritzburg, was convicted in the local magistrate’s court and was referred to the high court for sentencing.

Plaatjies, who learnt about his HIV status in 2001, was jailed for eight years for rape in 1999 and he raped the girl shortly after his release in October 2007.

Judge Leona Theron said that Plaatjies was well-known to the victim as he had had a relationship with her aunt, who had died. It was alleged during the trial that the aunt might have been infected with the virus by him.

”Plaatjies knew of his HIV status and may well have infected the girl,” said Theron.

”All rapes are disgusting and inhuman but the rape of a small child is worse. Children are being robbed of their innocence and the trauma she suffered will long haunt her.”

He said society expected the courts to deal harshly with people like Plaatjies who committed crimes against children.

”A life sentence for Plaatjies is not unjust or unfair,” said Theron. – Sapa

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