Two serial rapists meet match as 'brave' women testify against them

2015-10-21 21:17


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Pretoria - Two serial rapists who waged separate reigns of terror against women looking for jobs - one in the North of Pretoria and the other in Tsakane on the East Rand - have met their match in the brave victims who testified against them.

Isaac Dibetso, 47, who kidnapped, raped, assaulted and robbed nine women in the North of Pretoria between May and September 2012, was on Wednesday sentenced in the High Court in Pretoria to three life terms and over 180 years imprisonment on 28 charges.

Three of his victims were raped more than once and one victim almost died after he tied her to a tree with wire and pulled a plastic bag over her head, leaving her to die alone in the veld.

Barely an hour later, the same judge convicted Bongani Mnguni, 27, on a charge of murder and 13 further charges of rape, kidnapping, assault and robbery.

Mnguni, in August 2013, raped and murdered a young mother, Nokuthula Islam, near a dam in Langaville. He hit her on the head with a broken toilet bowl and left her for dead.

Raped schoolgirl

Islam was discovered half naked and unconscious in the veld the next day and taken to hospital, where she died about two months later without waking up. She died due to complications from severe head injuries.

Mnguni was the last person to be seen with her while she was alive. She told family she would accompany him to find a job. His DNA linked him to her rape.

He claimed they had a long-standing relationship and that he was the father of Islam's two-year-old child, but scientific tests ruled him out as the father.

Mnguni also raped five other victims - one of them a schoolgirl - in Tsakane between 2010 and 2013.

He gained entry into the pupil's home by pretending to be a municipal worker, but then throttled her, dragged her to the bedroom and raped her before locking her inside.

He claimed his other victims were "prostitutes" who had consensual sex with him, but the court rejected this claim.

Both men lured unsuspecting women with promises of jobs, but then took them to deserted places where they viciously attacked and raped them. Many of the victims were also robbed of their personal belongings.

Mnguni will be sentenced on Friday.

Judge Jody Kollapen, who presided in both trials, commended Dibetso's victims for their willingness to come forward and their courage to confront him in open court, despite being severely traumatised.

'Calls for the most serious response'

Their message to Dibetso and others like him was that he may have damaged their bodies and minds, but that they had shown a desire to keep on living and he could not take that away from them.

They were a reminder to Dibetso that he had not conquered them and that he was now the one who was going to be deprived of his liberty, the judge said.

He said Dibetso had a long list of previous convictions, including two for rape, and was the type of person society required protection against for a long time, if not indefinitely.

Dibetso had displayed no respect for his victims as humans or women and treated them as if they were objects, there for the taking.

"That's not how we live in a democratic society. It calls for the most serious response," Kolapen said.

Three of Dibetso's victims said they were satisfied with his sentence, but would never be able to forgive him for what he put them through.

A victim, who almost died, said she now feared all men, still had nightmares and flashbacks of the terrifying incident, and would probably always live in fear.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime

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