Man gets 27 years for rape and death

2008-06-25 00:00

A man who strangled a woman twice his age to death during the course of raping her, and then stole her cellphone, was yesterday jailed for 27 years by high court Judge Jan Hugo.

Sanele Alex Mtolo (20) committed the crimes when he was 19.

The court was told by his attorney, Pregasen Marimuthu, that he has a grade 2 education.

The court accepted that he was under the influence of alcohol when he committed the offences.

Mtolo pleaded guilty to the rape of 46-year-old Nomangisi Didi, and admitted that he “squeezed” her throat during the rape to prevent her fighting back and later put a bandage around her neck and tightened it.

However, he denied that he caused her death. He maintained she was alive when he left her.

Judge Hugo ruled that although the court believed it was probable that he did foresee the possibility of her death, this was not sufficient to convict him of murder.

“We cannot make a finding beyond a reasonable doubt that he foresaw the possibility of death ensuing. But there is no doubt that he was negligent in causing the death,” the judge said.

The court thus found Mtolo guilty of culpable homicide arising from the strangulation.

Hugo sentenced Mtolo to 10 years’ imprisonment for culpable homicide, two years for the theft of the cellphone and to 15 years for rape.

In a statement in which he admitted raping Didi, Mtolo said he was drinking with friends at a traditional ceremony beforehand. Afterwards he decided he wanted to have sex with Didi, who had employed him to do odd jobs. He entered her house through a window, found her asleep and raped her.

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