Court reserves judgment in Loyiso Coko rape conviction

North Gauteng High Court
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The Supreme Court of Appeal has reserved judgment in the Eastern Cape Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) bid to overturn the High Court decision to set aside the Grahamstown Regional Court’s rape conviction and sentence of Loyiso Coko.

Coko was initially convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison for raping his girlfriend in 2020. However, the High Court, under the then acting judge Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, acquitted Coko, finding that the regional court’s judgment was erroneous and lacked a basis.

The High Court’s decision was based on the conclusion that the state had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Coko acted intentionally and knowing that there was no consent. The court also found that the regional court had misinterpreted the concept of consent as defined in the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act.

The DPP, however, maintains that the High Court misdirected itself in its ruling and failed to consider the overwhelming admissible evidence in the case. The DPP argues that the complainant’s conduct could not have led Coko to believe that she had consented to sex.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga stated, “The grounds of our appeal are that the High Court misdirected itself in setting aside the conviction and the sentence on the basis that there was ‘tacit consent’.”

Mhaga further added, “There was no proper interpretation of consent as contained in the Sexual Offenses and Amendment Act, and also the conduct of the complainant could not have deceived the accused that she had consented. Those were but some of the grounds upon which we base our appeal, we hope that the judges at the Supreme Court of Appeal will rule in our favour,” adds Mhaga.

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