23 February 2023

The High Court of South Africa: The Mpumalanga High Court sitting in Mbombela, has today convicted and sentenced a 30-year-old man from Barberton to three life terms and 15 years of direct imprisonment, for multiple counts of rape. The accused in the matter is referred to as “MRC” to protect the image of the victims, as some of them are his siblings. MRC was found guilty of four counts of rape and one count of robbery. These crimes were committed in Barberton, during the period between 2014 to 2020. Two of the victims in the matter are his siblings and were staying in the same house. One of the victims was a minor when the incident happened. 

In one incident which happened in 2014, MRC called the victim who is his sister to the lounge and informed her that he need the blood since she was on her period. He further instructed the victim to go to the bathroom and squeeze blood from her sanitary towel into a container and bring it to him.He then ordered the victim to stab him with a knife so that he can mix their blood .The victim complied and MRC mixed their blood with an unknown substance in a container and ordered the victim to go to the bedroom and raped her.  Again, on 02 December 2017, the accused attacked a 24-year-old victim who was on her way to the toilet at her friend’s party. 

MRC emerged and accosted the victim to the nearby river and forced her to perform oral sex on him. Whilst raping the victim, he was holding a phone recording a video of him performing oral sex. He then fled the scene with the victim’s watch. Again on 08 August 2020, the accused requested the other victim who is also his sibling to accompany him to a nearby shop. Upon their arrival at the shop, the accused accosted her to a nearby dam, threatened her with an axe and raped her. The accused was arrested in 2020 after he raped his other sibling.

In court, the accused claimed consent with one of the victims and the state led by Senior State Adv. Themba Lusenga led testimonies of several witnesses, including the evidence of the first report accused sisters, who told the court about how the events unfolded. Their evidence was supported by positive DNA, linking the accused with the crime of rape. In aggravation of the sentence, Advocate Lusenga handed in victim impact statements, compiled by the victims and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer Nomfundo Mokoena. One of the victims authored that, since the rape ordeal happened, she has had anger issues, is unable to socialise with people and has flashbacks.

In sentencing the accused Judge Takalani Vincent Ratshivhumo, found no substantial and compelling circumstances to justify deviation from the prescribed minimum sentence. He said women and children, have a right to live and move freely in their community, without being harassed by anyone who showed no signs of repentance and remorse. He sentenced the accused to three life terms and 15 years of direct imprisonment. The court ordered the accused person’s name to be included in the National Register for Sexual Offenders, he was declared unfit to work with children and was declared unfit to possess a firearm.

The National Prosecuting Authority commends the passion portrayed by the investigating team and the prosecution in delivering justice to the victims of gender-based violence.

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