The Bafokeng Regional Court sentenced Katlego Rakgafela (31), to life imprisonment on a charge of rape. Rakgafela’s conviction emanates from an incident that occurred on 05 May 2018, in Phokeng, whereat the complainant and her friend were having drinks at a tavern. They later left the place at around 23h00 to go home, and Rakgafela decided to follow them. Shortly after the victim’s friend went into her yard, Rakgafela accosted the complainant and pulled her to the side of the road and raped her. Evidence presented in court revealed that when the victim tried to scream for help, Rakgafela took out a razor and cut her on the breast.

The complainant managed to report the matter to the police and the accused was arrested on 09 May 2018 and granted bail on 28 September 2018. A warrant for his arrest was however issued on 17 Jan 2019 after he failed to appear in court and he was rearrested on 28 April 2022 and kept in custody.

In aggravation of the sentence, the state prosecutor Mercia Magano urged the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment considering the brutal manner in which the complainant was violated, leaving her with physical and emotional scars. Magistrate Moeng agreed with the state and remarked about the accused stalking an unsuspecting victim and the barbaric matter in which he violated her right to dignity.

The Director of Public Prosecutions in North West, Dr Rachel Makhari Sekhaolelo, lauded the prosecutor and the investigating officer for the conviction. “The criminal justice system is duty bound to protect the most vulnerable members of our society and this conviction is a clear demonstration of such”, she concluded.

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