Pair get life plus 15 years for rape, robbery

2013-03-26 00:00

TWO men were sentenced effectively to life plus 15 years’ imprisonment yesterday for their role in a housebreaking, robbery and gang rape of a young woman at Maphumulo in 2010.

The sentences were imposed on Sifiso Malunga (21) and Siyabonga Mathebula (25) of Nyamazane, near Maphumulo, by Acting Judge Madlala Xolo. The men pleaded guilty to housebreaking accompanied by robbery with aggravating circumstances and a gang rape on August 25, 2010, in the Danyini area.

In statements, the men admitted that they and an accomplice, Lungani Ngiba, broke into the home of the victims by kicking open the door and threatening the two occupants with toy guns.

After robbing them, they took the woman to a partly built kraal nearby and each of the three took turns raping her. The court found that even though the firearms were toy weapons, they were used to induce fear and submission in the victims and this was an aggravating factor.

Acting Judge Xolo took into account that Malunga and Mathebula had demonstrated “genuine remorse” for their actions by pleading guilty and apologising for what they had done. He said this gave hope to society and to their victims that they recognised their wrongdoing and accepted responsibility.

“When the offender apologises, the healing can begin,” he said.

Xolo said, however, that the crimes were serious and it was aggravating that the victims were attacked in their home, where people expect to feel safe. He said rape was one of the worst crimes that could be committed against a woman, especially gang rape.

Advocate Rose Sepeng appeared for the state and the accused were represented by legal aid attorney Kelvin Singh.

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