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Roodepoort graveyard rapist sentenced to life in jail

Thabang Victor Rampai, 32, terrorised grieving women visiting their loved ones' graves

A serial rapist who attacked women in New Roodepoort Cemetery has been sentenced to life in jail. File image.
A serial rapist who attacked women in New Roodepoort Cemetery has been sentenced to life in jail. File image.
Image: 123RF

Two widows were among four women attacked and raped by a serial rapist while cleaning their loved ones’ graves at the New Roodepoort Cemetery in Soweto.

The grieving women were assaulted and raped by Thabang Victor Rampai, 32, at the cemetery in his two-year reign of terror.

The high court in Johannesburg has sentenced Rampai to four life terms and 15 years' imprisonment. The judgment was delivered by judge Cassim Ismail Moosa. 

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said Rampai was convicted on six counts of rape, two of robbery with aggravating circumstances, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and attempted murder. 

His first victim was a woman who had been walking near the cemetery on May 8 2016. He stabbed her in the face, raped and robbed her of her belongings. 

On January 19 2018, a woman who went to the cemetery to clean her cousin's grave, was overpowered and assaulted by Rampai. 

Two months later, on March 10 2018, another widow was attacked, stabbed and raped by Rampai while she was cleaning her husband's grave.

On April 8 2018, he attacked a woman cleaning her husband's grave. He stabbed her in the neck with a screwdriver and raped her. 

Rampai was linked to the rapes through DNA evidence.

He pleaded guilty to the charges.

Mjonondwane quoted prosecutor Makwena Mokwatedi as having said Rampai’s guilty plea was not a sign of remorse but because of overwhelming evidence against him. 

“The accused could not dispute the DNA evidence that linked him to unsolved cases of women robbed and raped at the Roodepoort graveyard [New Roodepoort Cemetery].

“She [Mokwatedi] added the court could not allow perpetrators such as the offender to create an environment of terror and insecurity in the minds of innocent citizens [and they had to be removed] from society.”

The court ordered Rampai’s name be entered into the National Register for Sex Offenders.

Rampai’s sentence is among several life terms handed to rapists in recent weeks.


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