Limpopo courts come down hard on rapists
LIMPOPO magistrate's courts have meted out harsh sentences during Youth Month (June) in an effort to teach young people and would-be criminals that crime does not pay
Ten rapists in the province have been given 17 life sentences this month for the rape of minor children and adults .
A total of 96 sentences were handed down recently for crimes including rape, robbery, attempted murder, kidnapping, abduction, common assault, assault GBH, contravention of a protection order and theft.
Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said yesterday that 57 of those convictions were for rape, of which 34 involved children aged 18 years or younger.
Among the rapists who received life sentences were Sydney Leshabane, 18, from GaMaake village, who was given three life sentences for the rapes of two 10-year-old girls in 2008 and another 12-year-old girl in 2009.
Foster Nkwongwana, 19, and Sewetja Kgatle, 22, were both sentenced to life for the rape of two 6-year-old girls in 2007 at Tickyline village outside Tzaneen.
Morne Grobler, 34, from Louis Trichardt, was sentenced to three life sentences for the rape of an 11-year-old girl, while Jomo Molefe Serage, 24, was sentenced to three life sentences plus 23 years in jail for three rapes he committed.
Petrus Mathebula, 29, from Lulekani, was given two life sentences for the rape of two women aged 28 and 29.
Nkhumbuleni Tshiedzaedza, 27, of Sibasa was sentenced to two life terms and 81 years on six counts of rape and robbery.
Matome Peter Morobela, 33, of Tzaneen, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape of a 16-year-old girl, while Berry Sithole, 28, of Giyani was sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape of a 15-year-old girl.
Solly Makhaphietsa, 33, of Bolobedu was sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape of a 22-year-old woman.
Lieutenant General Amon Mashigo commended the persistence of the teams throughout the province in tracking down these rapists.
He said this should serve as a reminder to those who harmed women and children that the police would not rest until the perpetrators were brought to justice.
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