By A Correspondent- A 28 year old soccer coach from Gqeberha has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for se_xually assaulting four boys between 2017 and 2018.
Sizwe ‘Lali’ Mphini was sentenced in the Port Elizabeth Regional Court on Thursday.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Mphini saw young boys playing soccer in an open field in Gqeberha in 2016. He asked if they had a soccer coach, to which they replied “no”.
He volunteered to be their coach and promised to buy soccer jerseys. The children were excited and they agreed to his proposal to play for the “Mighty Eagles” team.
“However, the children testified in court that Mphini never bought soccer jerseys. He instead f0ndled their private parts,” NPA regional spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said.
Ngcakani added that, during practice time, he would call the boys one by one, to play with their private parts.
Mphini would invite the boys to his house for food and to watch cartoons.
He would call the boys, one by one, to his bedroom and play with their private parts.
He also instructed the boys not to disclose the se_xual assault to anyone.
“The four boys testified that their private parts would be painful and swollen,” Ngcakani added.
They said, at first, they were too afraid to tell their parents. The court also heard that Mphini abused other boys, not just the four who came forward. It is alleged the other boys were afraid to report the crimes.
The NPA added that rumours about Mphini started to spread – and it all erupted when one parent found her boy at Mphini’s house, along with other young boys.
She questioned her 10-year-old son, who then disclosed the sex_ual assault, and stated that Mphini did the same to other boys.
A community meeting was held and, when other boys came forward, the community opened a case at Walmer police station.
The court found Mphini guilty of four counts of se_xual assault.
He was sentenced to five years imprisonment for each count.
“The sentences were ordered to run concurrently, meaning that he will serve five years direct imprisonment,” Ngcakani said.
The youngest of his victims, during the period he committed the crimes, was eight years old, and the oldest was 14.