Palesa Qoboza. Photo: Justin Steyn

Poetic Justice for Woman


Justin Steyn   l   Views: 44

Women’s Month was set to have an emotional new meaning for the extraordinarily brave attempted rape victim, Palesa Qoboza, a resident of Bela-Bela, who found some form of closure after the culprit was found guilty and sentenced on Monday, 31 July.

The BEAT has to place on record Qoboza insisted on her name and picture being published, as a deeply personal attempt to expose the plight of vulnerable women.

After testimonies by several witnesses, presiding magistrate, Gerhard Olivier, found Meshack Chirwa guilty of sexual assault and fined him R3000 or six months imprisonment. 

Chirwa chose the fine option.

In addition the court meted out an 18-months imprisonment sentence, suspended for five years. 

Qoboza had testified that Chirwa attempted to sexually assault her in her house, on Tuesday, 21 February.

Qoboza said in her attempt to avoid being raped, she pretended to be co-operative.

A passing police vehicle and passersby intervened, and Chirwa was arrested.

He made his first appearance before the Bela-Bela Magistrates Court on Thursday, 23 February, and was released on bail of R500.  Chirwa pleaded not guilty to the charge brought against him on Tuesday, 30 May.  The case was postponed to Thursday, 29 June, and following a month of testimonies by witnesses, and cross examination by the State and defence lawyer, Olivier ruled that Chirwa’s defence had lacked substance. “I am happy that the court ruled in my favour,” she said.  She further testified that the experience had motivated her to be more actively involved in campaigns and courses to support vulnerable women and children. 

9 months ago       10 August 2017