Man who engages in ‘corrective rape’ gets 2 life terms

A man who believed in “corrective rape” for lesbians has failed in an appeal against two life sentences.

Zabathini Jonas, from Petrusville in the Northern Cape, twice raped a 24-year-old woman, and told a magistrate in Philipstown that he “wanted to correct homosexual girls”.

After being convicted and jailed, the 30-year-old father of two appealed to the high court in Kimberley.

Judge Violet Phatshoane sent him packing last week, saying what he had done was “quite repulsive and unpardonable”.

She added: “The so-called ‘corrective rape’ is evil and cannot be countenanced. What [Jonas] did [to his victim] was to pulverise her sense of belonging and self-expression.”

Jonas was only 25 when he raped the woman in 2010, and told the magistrate who tried him he had already turned a lesbian into a heterosexual who had gone on to have children.

Phatshoane said: “He nonchalantly bragged that he put her on the right path and she no longer ‘bumps’, which he explained to mean that she no longer walks like a man.

“He hopes that if he engages in sexual intercourse with lesbians they will turn into heterosexuals: ‘Ek hoop ek gaan haar reg maak’.”

Dr Jakobus Liebenberg, who examined Jonas’s victim, said in 23 years he had not had a patient who was so traumatised.

The magistrate said Jonas had shown no contrition, and had concocted a version of events that was “hopelessly untruthful and contrived” in support of his not-guilty plea.

He had even instructed his attorney to tell the court that two weeks before the rape he had sexual intercourse with another “tomboy” because he loved lesbians.

Dismissing Jonas’s appeal, Phatshoane said his victim had since left Petrusville to escape the memory of what happened.

“She says it was better for her to express her sexuality in the Western Cape as opposed to a small town,” said the judge.

“The gay and lesbian community … are entitled to be who they are and express themselves in any manner they wish without fear of being ostracised and violated.”

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