SANDF Soldier Convicted of Rape, After Intentionally Infecting Girlfriend With HIV 1

SANDF Soldier Convicted of Rape, After Intentionally Infecting Girlfriend With HIV

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In a landmark verdict, Leon Santos Conga, a former South African National Defence Force(SANDF) has been convicted of rape and attempted murder for infecting his former partner, Antoinette Ndishishi with HIV. Magistrate Fikiswa Ntlati, the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court delivered the verdict on Tuesday.

Attempted Murder and Rape

The magistrate found Conga guilty of rape and attempted murder charges for failing to reveal his HIV status to Ndishishi. The latter represented by AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit was infected by Conga despite his knowledge of his HIV status since 2007.

News 24 reported that medical records proved that the accused tested HIV positive at SANDF sickbay in Phalaborwa in October 2007. “Further laboratory testing confirmed his positive status.”

Ntlahi revealed that there was evidence that the former SANDF member knew about his status and its repercussions as well.

“He knowingly failed to disclose his HIV-positive status to his former partner, who is the complainant in this matter.

“He thereby misled the complainant into engaging in sexual activities, knowing full well she was HIV-negative at the time,”

HIV is an Incurable Disease

The victim acknowledged consenting to unprotected sex with Conga adding. On the other hand, Ndishishi consented to unprotected sex under the assumption that he was HIV-negative.

The court accepted her testimony that she would not have agreed to have sex with him if she had known the truth. Moreover, the court accepted expert testimony that stated that HIV is a “fatal and incurable disease”

In accepting the victim’s argument Ntlati revealed that Nishishi was a witness who made a good impression to the court by replying to all questions clearly and directly. Ntlati shared,

“Despite her testifying after at least four years since the incident took place, she gave a clear and detailed account of what transpired. She didn’t contradict herself in any aspect. She remained consistent and unshaken and did not deviate from her version even during cross-examination. She was credible, and in the opinion of this court, no criticism can be levelled against her,”

Justice Served on HIV Case

Additionally, Ndishishi who had been seeking justice since 2018, expressed gratitude and relief towards the Private Prosecution Unit.

“I feel like I got justice because he was found guilty on both counts, attempted murder and rape. Honestly, hearing the words of the magistrate convict him and find him guilty, I actually cried.”

The head of the Private Prosecution Unit, Adv Gerrie Nel, hailed the verdict as a significant development in understanding consent.

“It has demonstrated that the establishment of the Private Prosecution Unit is critical to ensuring justice for victims of crime.”

The case has been postponed to August 7, 204, for sentence argument, Ndishishi inspired other women to come forward and report such incidents despite the fear of discrimination and stigma.

“They shouldn’t be afraid. I believe such people need to be locked up.”

SANDF Soldier Convicted of Rape, After Intentionally Infecting Girlfriend With HIV 3 146

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