A 30-year-old South African man has been jailed for 17 years following a hate crime in which he assaulted, strangled, tortured and set alight his gay victim.
In January, Christo Oncke was found guilty of the brutal assault and murder of Dawid Olyne in March 2014. Oncke had maintained his innocence throughout the trial, admitting only that he had hit and kicked Olyne after his victim propositioned him for sex.
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State prosecutor Advocate Ntsoaki Mabilietse said:
“The deceased was severely assaulted, strangled, tortured, tied up and set alight while still alive. The court ruled in its judgement that this was a hate crime. The gay community has a right to be protected as it has become common for members of this community to be assaulted everyday.”
According to IOL, although Mabilietse asked the court to hand down a life sentence, Judge Siraj Desai said he found compelling and substantial reasons to deviate from the minimum sentence required by legislation.
Christo Oncke has been found guilty of murdering David Olyne, who was gay, in Ceres in 2014…. https://t.co/RO24z2v0lP
— Quintin (@Imthedrugexpert) October 12, 2016
Desai said that although Oncke initiated the assault, he had not acted alone. He also found Oncke’s diminished intellectual capacity to be a mitigating factor. The judge added that although Oncke had six previous convictions, they were for petty crimes.
However, Desai admitted that Olyne’s murder “had the hallmarks of a hate crime”. He acknowledged that homophobia was prevalent in South Africa and said he had asked the Human Rights Commission and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to run a programme on issues of gender and homosexuality.
(Image via Twitter)