Police happy rape earns life in jail

2017-02-22 10:35
Warrant Officer Thamisanqa Duma from the Plessislaer Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences hopes the public will have more confidence in the police after their recent successes.

Warrant Officer Thamisanqa Duma from the Plessislaer Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences hopes the public will have more confidence in the police after their recent successes. (Nompilo Kunene)

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Dedicated members of the Plessislaer Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit hope that recent convictions they have worked hard to get will instil faith in the police.

Detective Thamisanqa Duma and other FCS detectives arrested two rapists and one child sex offender.

Duma said the first case happened on December 5, 2015, in Hopewell.

Duma said a 15-year-old girl was walking home from a nearby shop when she was harassed by a 25-year-old man who she knew because he continuously stalked and harassed her.

“It was reported to us that the man slapped the girl after she had protested when he tried to grab her inappropriately.

“Bystanders tried to intervene but the man was violent and chased them away.

“He dragged the girl behind a container and raped her. She managed to escape and ran to a nearby house for help, where the man followed her.

“She eventually ran home where the man continued following her. Her grandmother chased the man away and they opened a rape and assault case against him,” said Duma.

He said the suspect handed himself in at the Thornville police station the next day after police went to his home and did not find him.

He was eventually sentenced to life in prison on February 2.

“We were pleased with the life sentence handed to the man as he had showed intention because he kept on following, harassing and tormenting the young girl,” said Duma.

The second success was a Mid-Illovo case in the Ngwenya location, where an 18-year-old was robbed and raped.

Duma said the young woman, who lives alone, was sleeping in a rondavel on February 7. At around 2 am she heard a knock on the door and when she did not respond two men forced their way in.

They allegedly hit the girl with an iron weapon and said they were looking for guns. They ransacked her house and one of the men raped her. They also stole items to an estimated value of R2 000.

The woman opened a case and police began searching for the two suspects.

“We received a tipoff that one of the men (who did not rape the woman) was boarding a taxi from Isipingo to Mid-Illovo.

“Together with the investigating officer for this case, Warrant Officer Simphiwe Mkhize, and other FCS detectives, we stopped the taxi and the victim identified the suspect and he was arrested,” said Duma.

He appeared in court and pleaded guilty to the charge of robbery. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The other suspect is still on the run and is wanted for rape and robbery.

On September 10, 2016, in Phatheni in Richmond, a five-year-old girl was sent to the shop. On her way back she was stopped by her uncle who took her to his house. Bystanders rushed to the family and reported that the man had taken the girl.

Family members rushed to the man’s house and caught him “inappropriately kissing the child”.

Duma said the child also revealed that the man had touched her inappropriately and had silenced her with a R1 coin.

The family opened a case of sexual assault and the man was arrested. After several court appearances he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Duma, who has been with the police for 25 years, said he sleeps better at night knowing that sex offenders are locked up in jail and that women and children are safer.

“I feel happy and motivated to see these suspects arrested and sentenced. It just goes to show that our hard work and efforts are not in vain.”

He added that he hopes these arrests will help the public gain confidence in them and also send out a stern warning to perpetrators.

uMgungundlovu South cluster commander Major-General Phumelele Makoba said as the KZN deputy chairperson of the Women’s Network her was heart close to such cases and applauded the Plessislaer FCS unit for their successes.

“It is not always easy to crack such cases as people are not clear about what to do and sometimes rush to wipe the evidence away because they feel violated and dirty.

“It is fulfilling to have arrested, trialled and sentenced these suspects,” said Makoba.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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