Mokonyane: Rapists have serious sickness

2012-07-19 22:25
Two men convicted of raping two paramedics have "a serious sickness", Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane says. (File, Sapa)

Two men convicted of raping two paramedics have "a serious sickness", Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane says. (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Two men convicted of raping two paramedics have "a serious sickness", Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Thursday.

"To attack a paramedic who is on duty signals a most serious sickness on the part of such criminals. It's the worst thing to do," she said in a statement.

Richard Tshifhiwa Luruli, 29, and Michael Khorombi, 30, were sentenced to eight life terns each by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Judge Sherise Erica Wiener ordered that they run concurrently.

Both were also jailed for 35 years, to be served consecutively, for robbery, compelling another to commit a sexual act, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Luruli and Khorombi raped the paramedics when they were tending to a toddler with burn wounds in Durban Deep, Roodepoort, in March 2010.

Welcoming the stiff sentences, Mokonyane said she hoped they would deter other criminals and serve as consolation to other health workers.

"Even in conflict situations, warring parties do give safe passage to members of the health fraternity to carry out their duties to treat the injured."

Paramedics should not have to worry about being attacked by criminals when attending to the sick "even in the middle of the night".

Mokonyane praised the police work which led to the successful prosecution of Luruli and Khorombi.

The Health Professions Council of SA also welcomed the sentences.

"The council strongly condemns the dastardly deeds by these perpetrators," said Raveen Naidoo, chairperson of the Professional Board for Emergency Care, a body registered with the council.

"These practitioners fulfil a critical role in caring for the vulnerable members of society in an emergency situation and therefore should not fear for their own safety, nor that of their patients," he said.

Read more on:    hpcsa  |  johannesburg

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