Hijacker who shot, raped teacher gets 30 years

2009-09-24 00:00

ZWELITHINI Sibiya (22) of Donnybrook, who beat, shot and raped a KwaZulu-Natal teacher after robbing her of her car and valuables near Richmond in March, has been sentenced to an effective 30 years in jail.

The judge ruled that Sibiya must serve at least 20 years of his sentence in custody before he can be considered for parole.

Sibiya’s two co-accused, aged 17 and 16 years, who were convicted only on the charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances and unlawful possession of a firearm, have been ordered to serve their sentences at the Ekhuseni Youth Centre — a type of reformatory — in Newcastle until they turn 21.

The older youth will then be transferred to another facility at the discretion of the Correctional Services commissioner to serve a further two years in custody.

Judge Achmat Jappie, sitting with two assessors, said the evidence of the victim “paints a picture of a woman who suffered a terrible ordeal”.

He said the fact that her assailants are all known to her is an aggravating feature, and said the disrespect that the accused showed her was “quite heinous”.

“She is a teacher who has spent most of her life attempting to educate young people like the accused,” he said.

“For people young enough to be a child of hers to treat her in this manner is quite despicable.”

He said Sibiya led the younger accused on a crime spree.

Jappie said that in respect of the two rapes perpetrated by Sibiya on the victim, he is obliged to sentence him to life imprisonment unless there are compelling and substantial circumstances that warrant a lesser sentence.

Ironically, the judge ruled that the complainant’s own testimony — that Sibiya has previously been helpful at her school, is a talented musician and used his talent to the benefit of other pupils — swayed him to conclude that Sibiya is capable of rehabilitation.

There is little else that can be said in his favour, Jappie said.

 

“You behaved in an appalling manner towards the complainant. You had absolutely no regard for her dignity or personal integrity.

“It is my view that you are to be removed from civilised society for a very long time,” the judge told him.

The victim said she was attacked after giving the accused a lift. En route, one of the youths grabbed and “choked” her and the other pulled up the handbrake. After stopping at the roadside they tried to force her into the boot.

A motorist, Albert Knott, stopped to help, but fled after Sibiya shot at him. The two youths also ran away.

The woman said Sibiya forced her to accompany him into the bush on foot and repeatedly beat her with his gun or slapped her. He shot her in the upper arm before raping her the first time.

He left her tied up, but returned and when he found her trying to get loose, laughed at her.

She said he raped her a second time before tying her to a tree by her neck.

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