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ZIMBABWE (at the time: Southern Rhodesia)
Judicial CP - June 1960

Corpun file 3676 at

Bulawayo Chronicle, 10 June 1960

Indecency: 3 years for farmer

A young Nyamandhlovu farmer, Johannes Albertus Pretorius, was sentenced in the High Court, Bulawayo, yesterday to eight cuts, and 3 years in jail after being found guilty on two charges of indecent assault and one of rape against African children.

Mr. Justice Hathorn said the question of sentence had given him considerable difficulty as Pretorius was only 20 years old.

But the serious features of the case had been that the complainants were children (a girl aged 14 and two boys aged about eight and nine), that they had been subjected to degrading and disgusting behaviour and that Pretorius had been in a position of authority.

"It is necessary to show others that such behaviour cannot be tolerated," said Mr. Justice Hathorn.

Pretorius, of Inyokene East Farm, had pleaded not guilty.

Umtali Post, Mutare, 27 June 1960

Will-o'-the-wisp driver appears in Court

By Umtali Post Reporter

RUSAPE's will o' the wisp driver -- the person who tore across the town airfield at night in a stolen car while Boswell's Circus was performing, knocked down and injured an African bystander and then disappeared -- has been sentenced in the Rusape Magistrate's Court. He is a 17-year-old African juvenile.

press cuttingThis morning the magistrate, Mr. L. Ross, found him guilty of stealing a vehicle, of driving without a driver's licence, of reckless driving, of failing to stop and ascertain whether an injured person is dead or alive, and of failing to report an accident.

All as one

The five counts were all treated as one for purpose of sentence, and the juvenile was sentenced to six moderate cuts and disqualified from obtaining a driver's licence for three years. In addition, he was committed to the Gatooma Reformatory until he is 21 (unless a Board recommends that he be released on probation before that time.)

The juvenile admitted taking a car on May 3, from outside the Inyazura Service Station. He gave two other African juveniles a lift to the circus in Rusape, and, after dropping them off at the airfield where the circus was performing, drove towards the entrance gate.

The police were standing near the gate.

They saw the car, which was travelling too fast to take the turning into the gateway, crash into a steel gatepost sunk two feet into the ground, knocking it over.

An African who was standing near the gate post was knocked down and received head injuries. The car carried on, and finally came to rest 30 yards further down the road, when it stalled after hitting a bank.

Traced later

When the police arrived on the scene within seconds, they found the car door open and no one there. There was an unsuccessful search for the driver in the thick bush. Some time later the juvenile was traced and admitted that he was responsible.

A doctor who was at the circus was called to treat the injured African, who was admitted to the Rusape hospital.

(Footnote: Five days ago the injured man, Dorizhu, was moved to Salisbury for examination by a specialist. He was still unconscious.)

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