9 men who went on a violent 8-month crime spree in Gauteng sentenced to life

Nine men were sentenced to life imprisonment in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday after embarking on a crime spree in Tshepisong, Mogale City Municipality, that lasted eight months.

The men - who raped, murdered, kidnapped and robbed unsuspecting women - were convicted on 53 counts.

"Thomas Tivane, Makamu Mapeddje, Alex Mabuya, Boavida Chilengue, Gito Maguele, Jordan Bila, Antonio Timbe, George Mabunda and Jeremias Sithole were convicted on 53 counts ranging from the contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, gang rapes, kidnappings, one count of murder, inciting and/or abetting another to commit the crime of rape, etc," National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said.

They were arrested after an informer tipped off the police and were later pointed out by the complainants during an identification parade.

Wielding pangas, knives, knobkerries and what seemed to be firearms, the men embarked on the violent crime spree that resulted in the death of Mathapelo Baloyi.

According to Mjonondwane, three of the men raped and stoned Baloyi who later died due to her injuries.

"These heinous crimes resulted in the loss of Mathapelo Baloyi's life who later succumbed to injuries after being raped and stoned by three of the assailants."

Joseph Baloyi, Mathapelo's husband, testified at the hearing in aggravation of sentence against the men, detailing the impact the crimes had on him and his family.

"He also argued that the sentence imposed by the court should be proportionate to the seriousness of the offences committed and asked the court not to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence of life imprisonment," Mjonondwane said.

According to her, the men had shown no mercy while terrorising residents and no remorse afterwards.

"The court found that all the accused lacked mercy during the commission of these offences and had shown no remorse for the pain and suffering they inflicted on the victims, thereby resulting in their removal from society for a lengthy period," Mjonondwane said.

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