Free State man handed 30-year sentence for raping woman, 61, and granddaughter, 10

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A Free State man has been handed an effective 30-year sentence for raping a 61-year-old woman and her 10-year-old granddaughter.

The woman and child were asleep in their home in Kutloanong, Odendaalsrus, on 7 January 2018 when Makhabane Eric Mbatha broke in.

According to police spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng, Mbatha overpowered the two and then raped them.

"After the rape ordeal, he left the scene. (At the time, the perpetrator) was unknown. A case of housebreaking and two counts of rape were registered for further investigation. The case was assigned to the Lejweleputswa District FCS (Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit)."

Thakeng said Detective Warrant Officer Fannie van der Merwe conducted a DNA test during an investigation, which led to Mbatha's arrest in Kutloanong the following year.

"He was found guilty as charged by Welkom Regional Court."

Thakeng said Mbatha was sentenced to four years' imprisonment for the charge of burglary, 20 years for the first charge of rape, and 10 years for the second rape charge.

Acting Free State police commissioner Major General Solly Lesia applauded Van Der Merwe for "conducting a thorough investigation, which led to this sentence".

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