'The dogs are gone,' ANCWL members shout as two men jailed for woman's murder, rape of her grandchild

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Two men have been sentenced after a Soweto woman was killed in her home, while her granddaughter was raped.
Two men have been sentenced after a Soweto woman was killed in her home, while her granddaughter was raped.
Sharon Seretlo
  • Two men were sentenced after a Soweto woman was killed in her home, while her granddaughter was raped.
  • The packed gallery celebrated as the sentences were handed down, while the woman who was raped shed tears.
  • The men were handed life terms.

"The dogs are gone. We will now live freely in Soweto without you. Bloody dogs."

This is what a group of ANC Women's League members shouted after Phakamile Aaron Mweba, 44, and Moses Nkosinathi Gqoba, 52, were escorted down to start their new lives in prison on Friday.

The men smiled and laughed as they left the courtroom in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

Judge Moleboheng Mdalana-Mayisela handed down life terms for the murder of a 61-year-old woman, and the rape of her then 21-year-old granddaughter.

The young woman, who cannot be named because she is a victim of rape, sat among the women who wiped her tears, listening attentively to Mdalana-Mayisela.

On 17 July 2020, Mweba and Gqoba forcefully gained entry to the home of the two women by breaking down the burglar bars and entering through a sliding door.

Gqoba then went to the grandmother's room, where he attempted to rape her. He then assaulted and killed her.

Mweba went to her granddaughter's room and raped her.

READ | Life sentence for man who raped daughter, 8, after mother moved her to his home for safety

The grandmother was rushed to the nearby Tshepo-Themba Clinic in Soweto, where she was declared dead on arrival.

They then fled with the 21-year-old granddaughter's laptop, which was later recovered.

The young woman identified Mweba by a ring he wore at the time of the offence. The two men were attacked by members of the community who were looking for them. They were found in Mofolo, Soweto.

Mdalana-Mayisela said the men had committed heinous crimes.

"They didn't show remorse. They didn't testify in mitigation of sentence. Mweba didn't even show remorse during his consultation with the probation officer. Gqoba refused to consult a social worker.

"Despite the overwhelming evidence against them, they maintained innocence. The court is still in the dark about what motivated them to commit the crimes. They didn't use the opportunity to rehabilitate themselves when they were in prison serving sentence for other matters."


She said the two women were attacked while sleeping in their home.

"The survivor suffered severe psychological, emotional, and physical injuries. The sentence needs to be victim-centred. The victim sustained physical injuries as a result of rape. She was also stabbed with a knife. She felt dirty. She uses prescribed sleeping tablets."

The granddaughter had been a second-year law student at the time of the attack, and dropped out of university after being raped.

"She thought her world was closing in. She was navigating her maze with no exits," said the judge.

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Mdalana-Mayisela said she had lost her grandmother, who had raised and supported her with her education.

“She suffered a double blow. She was not only raped, she also lost her pillar. Her grandmother was due to retire in 2021. Her passing has alienated and caused friction among her family members.

"She was an active member of society in Dobsonville. She was an active senior member of the Methodist Church in Dobsonville. Her family and the community of Dobsonville lost a valuable member."

Mdalana-Mayisela said Mweba and Gqoba’s personal circumstances didn't warrant a deviation from the prescribed minimum sentence.

"Society demands of the court to send a clear message."

Mweba was sentenced to life imprisonment for rape, three years for housebreaking with intent to rob, and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Gqoba was sentenced to life for murder, life imprisonment for attempted rape, three years for housebreaking with intent to rob, and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Mweba was previously convicted of robbery, possessing an unlicenced firearm and ammunition, and attempted murder.

His accomplice, Gqoba, who is married with three children - aged 18, 22 and 27 - was previously sentenced for theft and assault to cause grievous bodily harm.

After the men were sentenced, the ANC Women's League members rallied around the victim, her aunt and uncle, to console them.

Gqoba attempted to greet her family in the gallery, but they responded:

They shouted:

Go away, you dogs. The dogs are gone. We will now live freely in Soweto without you. Bloody dogs. We are no longer afraid of you. This time you won't come back, you rapists and murderers.

The men were also declared unfit to possess firearms.


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