Expatica news

S.African rapist’s sentencing postponed 71 times

A South African court on Wednesday postponed a child rapist’s sentencing 71 times in four years, police said.

Andries Sibiya, a preacher, was convicted in 2008 on nine charges for raping a 13-year-old girl between 1998 and 2007. The 55-year-old had three children with the girl, and told the court during his trial God had ordered him to have children so his family could go to heaven.

Since the conviction Sibiya has been in custody, but his sentencing has been postponed repeatedly because he claimed to be ill.

He had another reason to avoid the court Wednesday, according to police spokesman Leonard Hlathi.

“It was postponed because he claimed he was tired,” Hlathi was quoted as saying by Sapa news agency.

The preacher had started hunger strikes several times just before his court appearances, then said he was too ill to attend, Hlathi said.

South Africa has a deep-rooted rape culture. One in four men admitted to having raped a woman in a 2009-survey by the country’s Medical Research Council.