Former Oudtshoorn deputy mayor sentenced for sexual assault

Mlandeli Nyuka. Picture: Supplied

Mlandeli Nyuka. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 27, 2024

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Cape Town - The Oudtshoorn Municipality has welcomed the sentencing of its former deputy mayor for sexual assault, saying it served as a reminder to people in power not to abuse their positions.

The Oudtshoorn Magistrate’s Court yesterday sentenced Mlandeli Nyuka to five years’ direct imprisonment for sexually assaulting an employee in his office.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said it was Nyuka’s second conviction and sentence for the same crime using the same modus operandi.

State prosecutor Mervan Saaiman told the court that on the day in question in 2022, Nyuka called the woman into his office and locked the door.

At first, he tried to manipulate her, saying he would see to it that she is promoted at work.

He then proceeded to lift her dress and touch her private parts without her permission.

At that moment the telephone rang, and Nyuka answered, leaving the woman with a chance to run out of the office.

The NPA said throughout the trial, Nyuka dismissed the allegations, claiming the woman was part of a different faction of their political party who applied to the high court to have him removed from the party.

“During cross-examination, he alleged she offered him sexual favours in exchange for everything he did for her. He could not satisfactorily explain why this version was not put to her; but only proffered during the defence’s case.

“She denied his allegations and testified that she always supported him in party matters,” the NPA said.

A witness testified they helped the woman lodge a complaint with police.

Magistrate Sylvia Mandla found Nyuka was not a good witness and had fabricated his evidence. “She found that he abused his seniority to obtain sexual favours and convicted him on a count of sexual assault.

“During sentencing, Saaiman requested the investigating officer to obtain a case docket from the archives which proved the accused’s previous conviction of sexual assault, with the same modus operandi.

“The State argued that he is a sexual predator who abused his position. The court sentenced him to five years’ direct imprisonment,” the NPA said.

Oudtshoorn Mayor Chris Macpherson said: “The outcome of this court case again proves that justice will prevail. From the onset, we have said that justice has to run its course. May this be a stern reminder to people in senior positions not to abuse their positions. Actions have consequences.”

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Cape Argus

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