JOHANNESBURG, December 13 – The Pongola Regional Court in KwaZulu-Natal has convicted and sentenced five men accused of rape and robbery on farms to four life terms and a total of 225 years imprisonment.
Wandile Gabriel Dlamini (25) was sentenced to life imprisonment for rape, 70 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, Mlungisi Thabathu Mathenjwa (21) and Phumlani Sotsha Mdluli (28) were each sentenced to life imprisonment for rape, 45 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Ntokozo Prince Mthethwa (23) was sentenced to life imprisonment for rape, 30 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances and 15 years for possession of firearm and ammunition.
The fifth accused, Khethiwe Gugu Gumbi (34) was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the illegal possession of a rifle.
The court found that from December 2014 to March 2015, the group of armed men targeted farms in Pongola and Magudu. The gang raped women they found on the farms and stole firearms and other valuables.
South African Police Service (SAPS) KwaZulu-Natal Captain Nqobile Gwala on Wednesday said the culprits were arrested by a SAPS Task Team.
He said the investigating team received a tip off that an armed gang were planning to attack another farm. The police went to the farm where they found them hiding in the bushes.
The suspects fled, but police managed to apprehend a male and female who were found with rifles in their possession. The rest of the gang were subsequently arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced.
“We are thrilled that these criminals were handed befitting sentences for their horrendous acts. The investigation by the Task Team which led to the successful apprehension of the accused is commended,” said the KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa.
– African News Agency (ANA)