LUTENDO LIVHEBE – MUDAU. The Mogwase Regional Court sentenced 47-year-old Oupa Herman Mabalane, to life imprisonment on two counts of rape. Mabalane’s conviction is because of an incident that occurred on 25 April 2022, at Ga-Phiri Village, near Mogwase, wherein he raped a 27-year-old female. He was arrested the following day after the matter was reported to the police, his bail application was rejected, and he pleaded guilty to the charges.

Evidence led in court revealed that Mabalane, together with the victim, her sister and her sister’s boyfriend, were from a tavern, going to the residence of the accused uncle. The sister and her boyfriend went into another bedroom. They then went out when they heard the victim screaming and she indicated that the accused was assaulting her, to which they reprimanded him before going back into their bedroom. The accused subsequently dragged the victim into another bedroom which was dark and raped her more than once. She sustained injuries on her right knee where she was stabbed with a screwdriver. The accused had no other reason to assault her, except to force her to have sexual intercourse with him as they had no relationship.

Mabalane was also found to have previous convictions, although not relevant to the crime he was convicted of. Among the 13 convictions he had were, possession of ammunition, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and he was previously declared unfit to possess a firearm.

In aggravation of sentence, the state prosecutor, Tebogo Mokoka addressed the court about the prevalence and seriousness of the offence and urged it not to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence. Magistrate Herbert Modiba, agreed with the state and found no substantive and compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment.

The Director of Public Prosecutions in North West, Dr Rachel Makhari Sekhaolelo lauded the prosecutor and the investigating officer for a collaboration that yielded a successful conviction. “The criminal justice system will continue discharging its mandate of protecting the most vulnerable citizens against perpetrators of such violent acts”, she concluded.

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