Cape Town man convicted of human trafficking and rape

The man married a 14-year-old girl against her will, claiming it was a customary marriage of ‘ukuthwala’.

FILE: The girl tried to escape at one point, spending the night alone at a forest in the Eastern Cape. Picture: sxc.hu.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape High Court unanimously confirmed the conviction of a man who married a 14-year-old girl against her will, on charges of human trafficking and rape.

On Tuesday the High court upheld Nvumeleni Jezile's conviction and his effective 22-years prison sentence.

The decision comes after Jezile appealed his convictions on all counts, arguing he had entered into the customary marriage of 'ukuthwala.

In 2010, Jezile reportedly travelled to the Eastern Cape where he encountered the 14-year-old school girl in a local village.

At the time she was living with her grandmother as her mother was working in another village.

Evidence before the court was that Jezile concluded an arrangement with her uncle to deliver her to him as part of the customary practice 'ukuthwala' or forced marriage.

The girl tried to escape at one stage, spending the night alone at a forest in the Eastern Cape.

She was later returned to Jezile by her uncle and forced to board a taxi to Cape Town where she was locked in a house and raped seven times before escaping and finding her way to a police station.