Court puts a stop to two men's life of crime
A life of crime riddled with rape, robbery, kidnapping and housebreaking came to an end for two Mpumalanga men when they were sentenced to multiple life terms.
Nicolus Hendry Mhlongo, 25, and Reginald Dibakoane, 26, were sentenced by the Mpumalanga high court on Friday.
“Mhlongo was sentenced to two life terms and 71 years’ imprisonment after he was convicted on two counts of rape, three counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, two counts of kidnapping, seven counts of housebreaking, malicious damage to property and four counts of theft,” said Mpumalanga National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Monica Nyuswa.
Dibakoane was sentenced to two life terms and 48 years' imprisonment after being convicted on two counts of rape, two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, two counts of housebreaking, two counts of kidnapping, theft and malicious damage to property, Nyuswa said.
The court ordered that their sentences run concurrently.
“These crimes were committed during the period of March 2012 to March 2016 in Hazyview. The pair would target private homes in the residential suburbs of Hazyview, break in and commit theft in the houses.
“In one of the two incidents that stand out, on February 25, the pair broke into a house near Oxpecker Walk in Hazyview. They assaulted three occupants, took a female victim to the bushes in the Bushbuckridge area where they took turns in raping her repeatedly,” Nyuswa said.
The pair, according to the NPA, demanded car keys and stole three cellphones, two laptops, bank cards and fled the scene with the victims' vehicle.
“The vehicle was subsequently set alight in the bush. The following day, they withdrew a cash amount of R1,300 from the victim’s account from the nearby ATM.
“In the second outstanding case, Mhlongo and Dibakoane went to the house of the victims in Hazyview and broke the door. They fled the scene after they were interrupted by the occupant of an unfinished building in the same premises. The same night, they returned and found the two victims busy fixing the broken door.
“They pointed a firearm at them and went inside the house. They took some household items and other tools from the house. They further instructed the female victim to go with them to the bushes where they took turns raping her. They told her to wash herself in the nearby stream and fled the scene on foot.”
She said the victim was later found by a patrolling security company vehicle which took her back to her house.
Mhlongo was linked to the crimes through DNA evidence and fingerprints.
Dibakoane, was linked to the case through the stolen cellphone that was recovered from his girlfriend.
“He was further linked with the tools he stole from the victim’s house that were recovered from his parents’ house and the video footage obtained from the garage where he withdrew the cash amount of R1,300 from the victim’s bank account.”
Mhlongo and Dibakoane were also positively identified during an identification parade.