Jail terms for duo using woman as bait to rob unsuspecting motorists

One victim killed, others forced to leap into river

The gang operated from March to May 2022. Stock photo.
The gang operated from March to May 2022. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Belchonok

Two members of a syndicate who set a trap for motorists and robbed them of their vehicles, cash and cellphones have been sentenced in the Free State.

The gang operated from March to May 2022, with Christine Masiza, 29, used as bait to approach victims.

β€œThe other accused would then pounce on the victims with firearms and kidnap them at gunpoint,” said police spokesperson Capt Stephen Thakeng.

Those who fell into the trap include:

  • Maleke Francis Rakaki, 51, an employee of Eskom, was murdered after being robbed of his Mazda CX5 and R1,400 cash. He had withdrawn money to pay for his son's driving lessons. Rakaki's face was covered with a plastic bag and his hands and feet were tied. He was stabbed and thrown off a bridge over the Tikwe River.
  • Another victim was approached, forced inside the boot and then forced to jump into the river. A Polo Vivo, cellphone worth R12,000 and R1,000 cash were stolen.
  • A third victim was robbed of a Toyota Corolla, cellphone worth R2,000, several bank cards, clothing account cards, driver's licence and identity card. His face was also covered with a plastic bag before he was forced inside the boot. They drove with him and forced him to jump into the Tikwe River in Virginia.

Two members of the gang were convicted.

The high court sitting in Virginia sentenced Masiza β€” from New Stands, Thabong, in Welkom β€” to eight years in jail for two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances and three years for two counts of kidnapping.

Moeketsi Shadrack Vinger, 30, from Botshabelo, was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for two counts of robbery, 10 years for attempted murder and five years for two counts of kidnapping.


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