Man sentenced for 'corrective rape'

CAPE TOWN - A Cape Town lesbian who survived a so-called corrective rape three years ago, is finally getting justice.

Millicent Gaika&39;s attacker has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.

The magistrate said she hopes the punishment will deter other rapists from trying to "cure" lesbians.

In 2010, she was throttled, tortured and raped for five hours by a former friend and neighbour, Andile Ngcoka.

He allegedly told her he wanted to "cure" her of her homosexuality.

Ngcoka was arrested and found guilty, but just days before sentencing in 2011, Ngcoka disappeared.

He was later rearrested in September this year.

"Andile disappeared for a year, and all that year Millicent was living in fear because Andile is from Gugulethu and Millicent is from Gugulethu as well," said Funeka Soldaat, Free Gender Project coordinator.

"They know each other because Millicent grew up in front of that boy. And then we were so scared, because he can come back and finish up Millicent&39;s life."

In sentencing Ngcoka to prison for 22 years, the magistrate said corrective rape is a serious crime affecting mostly black lesbians.

Friends of Gaika say the ordeal has left her so severely traumatised, she attempted suicide last year.

Gaika can now finally begin her healing process.

And activists believe her attacker&39;s punishment will give hope to other black lesbians in townships.

Who continue to live in fear of being raped and murdered, because of their sexual orientation.