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Soldier who allegedly infected his partner with HIV to go on trial for attempted murder

The criminal case against a 44-year-old soldier in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) charged with attempted murder after allegedly knowingly and intentionally infecting his partner with HIV has been set down for trial.

The accused, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity, appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court this week.

The case was postponed for the accused to plead to the charge of attempted murder.

The plea and trial are expected to start on 29 June.

News24 previously reported that the accused is a staff sergeant, stationed at the SANDF’s Special Forces Unit based in Phalaborwa, Limpopo.

According to the charge sheet, being in the SANDF, the accused underwent compulsory medical examinations, which included tests for HIV regularly.

In October 2007, the accused tested positive at the SANDF sickbay in Phalaborwa. Further laboratory testing confirmed his positive status.

“The accused was immediately, after the outcome of the aforesaid testing, informed by the SANDF medical staff that he was HIV positive,” the charge sheet read.

In 2016, the accused then became romantically involved with another soldier, who held the rank of corporal in the air force.

The accused had consensual and unprotected intercourse with the victim on several occasions between December 2016 and April 2017.

HIV status never revealed

The State alleged the accused never revealed his HIV status to his partner during their relationship and the victim had tested negative for HIV in August 2016 before the two got romantically involved.

The charge sheet further stated the victim did not have sexual intercourse with anyone from when she received her HIV report until she became involved with the accused.

The accused allegedly made his partner believe he was HIV negative, which led to her being persuaded to have unprotected sexual intercourse with him.

“The accused very well knew, at all relevant times, that the HIV disease he carried could be sexually transmitted to the complainant if he had unprotected sexual intercourse with her, and that by doing so, he could infect the complainant with HIV,” the charge sheet read.

It is alleged the accused either refused to wear a condom during sex, would prematurely remove the condom before the completion of sexual intercourse, or that he would insist and persist in having unprotected sex with the victim.

“The accused persisted to reassure the complainant that he was HIV negative, despite the accused having been informed by the SANDF medical staff as far back as 8 October 2007 that he was HIV positive, and despite him having undergone HIV testing on various occasions since.”

The State accused the soldier of intentionally attempting to kill the victim by having unprotected sexual intercourse with her, which caused her to be infected with HIV.

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This is because HIV is a medical condition that permanently puts the victim at risk of developing Aids, which has the potential to kill her.

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