'Remorseless' killers who terrorised Soweto community to be sentenced

Nine men were convicted last week for a spree of murder, rape and kidnapping in Tshepisong, Soweto, in 2015 and 2016.
Nine men were convicted last week for a spree of murder, rape and kidnapping in Tshepisong, Soweto, in 2015 and 2016.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The group of nine men who attacked, robbed, kidnapped and raped several victims in Tshepisong, Soweto, over two years "showed no remorse".

That was the argument put forward by the prosecution in the Johannesburg high court on Friday.

"The accused with or without assistance of accomplices attacked the complainants with firearms, knives, knobkerries, broomsticks, pangas and/or other dangerous weapons - after which they kidnapped, raped the females and robbed both male and female complainants," reads the indictment.

The nine men, aged 22 to 28, carried out their reign of terror in 2015 and 2016.

They were convicted last week on a raft of charges, including murder, rape and kidnapping.

The prosecution argued for them to be incarcerated for the rest of their natural lives and to be listed in the sex offenders register because there was no prospect of rehabilitation. 

“Throughout the court proceedings, not even a shred of remorse was showed by the accused persons."

The defence team argued for more lenient sentences, saying the crimes were committed out of financial desperation, the men had already been incarcerated for a long time and were breadwinners and primary caregivers to minor children in Mozambique.   

The nine are Thomas Tivane, Makamu Mapedje, Alex Mabuya, Boavida Chilengue, Gito Maguele, Jordan Bila, Antonio Timbe, George Mabunda and Jeremias Sithole.

Female victims sobbed throughout the proceedings. The court heard that their attackers did not use condoms.

Mathapelo Baloyi died in 2016 after she was attacked, robbed and raped by one of the men while she was returning from work. Her husband Joseph Baloyi gave a chilling account of how he watched her die as a result of the injuries she sustained. 

"It affected me so much - not just me but both our families. I nearly committed suicide. It’s like I lost a part of myself," he told the court.  

Gauteng NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjondwana said: "As the NPA we believe we’ve managed to do enough in terms of trying to convince [the court] that there are no substantial or compelling circumstances for the court to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence of life imprisonment, but we are in the hands of the court."

The case was postponed to Wednesday for sentencing.