30 years for rape initiator

2013-03-07 00:00

THE man who initiated the double rape of a 24-year-old Pietermaritzburg university graduate was jailed effectively for 30 years by KZN Deputy Judge President Achmat Jappie yesterday.

Judge Jappie sentenced Tankiso Mthembu (22) to 25 years’ imprisonment for the two rapes perpetrated by him and one of his two accomplices, Khotso Mohlomi, and to 15 years for the aggravated robbery of the rape victim and her mother.

Judge Jappie ordered that 10 years of the sentences were to run concurrently, and that Mthembu must serve 20 years before he can be released on parole.

Mthembu’s co-accused, Maesole Xakatha (26), who was only found guilty of robbery with aggravating circumstances, was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.

The two men pleaded guilty to the charges on Tuesday. They admitted having planned to rob the mother and daughter at their Northdale home, arming themselves, and lying in wait for them. When the women arrived home at lunchtime on February 21, the trio confronted them.

Mthembu and Mohlomi then raped the younger woman.

Mohlomi last Friday became the first of the trio to plead guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment by Acting Judge Kobus Booyens.

In terms of legislation, courts are obliged to impose life imprisonment on rapists in cases where a victim is raped more than once, unless the court finds compelling and substantial circumstances to justify a lesser sentence.

Judge Jappie found in his judgment that the fact that Mthembu was the first person to rape the woman, and could not have anticipated that Mohlomi would do the same, to be such a factor.

He said had Mohlomi not also raped the victim, Mthembu would have faced a minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment for rape.

However, the judge said the rapes and robbery were “senseless and gratuitous” acts.

He said both Mthembu and Xakatha risked spending the better part of their lives in jail “for nothing”, and they’d shown no regard for the victims.

He said a statement by the woman revealed that before the rape she’d regarded herself as a “carefree young girl with an optimistic view of life”.

“Since this incident she has become depressed. She is confused and she fears for any future relationships she may have.

“Her health is also in jeopardy because she fears she may have developed Aids as a result of this incident, and her financial security has also been placed in jeopardy,” the judge said.

Mother and daughter moved to a different city the day after the attack. They did not attend court yesterday.

The woman told the court last Friday that she lives in constant fear  since the attack.

Her mother spoke of the guilt she felt for being unable to protect her daughter, and said she suffers flashbacks of the incident.

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