Life terms handed to two rapists

Two rapists have been sentenced to life imprisonment by two regional courts for raping minor children in separate incidents. On 5 February 2019, the Vryheid Regional Court sentenced Themba Shabalala (32) to life imprisonment for raping a then six-year-old child in October 2016 at the Mangosuthu area in Paulpietersburg. A case of rape was opened at the Paulpietersburg police station and assigned to the Vryheid Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for investigation. Police swiftly arrested the suspect and he was kept in custody throughout the trial.

On 1 February 2019, another rapist, Mthokozisi ‘Phashash’ Kunene (43) was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court for raping a 12-year-old girl. On 9 August 2017, the victim was walking home from school when she encountered the suspect, who accompanied her as he was known to her. As they were walking, the suspect grabbed her and pulled her into the veranda of an abandoned house and raped her.

A case of rape was opened at the Plessislaer police station and the suspect was immediately arrested. The docket was thoroughly investigated by the Plessislaer Family Violence, Child Violence and Sexual Offences Unit and went to trial. The accused made several appearances at court until he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

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