Police’s persistence pays off after 2 yrs

2018-02-28 06:00

Two years after she was raped, an 87-year-old granny of Bethulie has received justice. This is after the accused Thabo Ernest Phumo (26) was sentenced to an effective 15 years’ imprisonment.

The Bethulie Regional Court sentenced Phumo on Tuesday, 20 February.

Sgt Yanga Ngcukana, spokesperson of the Bethulie Police Cluster, said the victim was raped at her residence.

He said the rape had been committed at about 23:00 on a night in February 2016. He said the victim had been alone in the house when she was raped.

Ngcukana said the sentencing had followed intensive investigation. He said positive information had been received from a witness, who had spotted the accused leaving the house of the victim on the night of the incident.

“Phumo was on his way from a nearby tavern when he decided to enter the house of the victim, and raped her,” said Ngcukana.

He said the accused was arrested after the incident.

“The case was provisionally withdrawn and he was acquitted due to lack of evidence. However, following further investigations, Phumo was re-arrested after DNA results proved he had raped the victim.

“He was found guilty by the court and was convicted for the crime. The court heard that the accused was also seen by a neighbour leaving the granny’s house on the night, and thus the neighbour became suspicious.”

He said Phumo had remained behind bars until he was sentenced.

Col Ngoma Guma, commander of the Smithfield Police Cluster, has applauded the community for helping the police by providing positive information that led to the accused’s sentencing.

He has commended the Bethulie Police and the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences investigators for a good working relationship with the community to ensure victims of violence get justice.

“We need people that will come forward when they see or suspect that crime is being committed,” said Guma.

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