The Lusikisiki Regional Court sentenced Vuyani Khetshane (34), to three life imprisonment terms after convicting him on three separate counts of rape. The court sentenced Khetshane to a further five years for kidnapping but ordered it to run concurrently with one life sentence. He was arrested on 9 June 2022 after he was linked through DNA to the rapes committed six years ago.

On 03 January 2016, the 19-year-old victim had gone to her classmate’s homestead in Jambeni A Section in Lusikisiki. When the classmate was accompanying her back to her home, they met Khetshane, who volunteered to accompany the victim. The victim did not know him, but her classmate did. When they reached the home of the victim, Khetshane entered her room and forcefully took the keys and her cellphone before repeatedly raping her until the following morning, he then left. The complainant went to Lusikisiki Police Station to report the incident and she was then taken to St Elizabeth Thuthuzela Care Centre (TCC).

On 09 June 2016, the 17-year-old victim was coming from a local clinic at the Luzuphu location in Lusikisiki. On the way she was stopped by a white vehicle, two men alighted from the vehicle, drew up knives, and instructed her to get inside the car. There were two other males in the car, and they drove off in a direction unknown to the victim until they reached bushes. They dragged her to the bushes, where all four of them took turns raping her. They left her there and she managed to walk through the bushes until she found a nearby homestead. She was then taken to the police station and later taken to the TCC.

On 11 December 2016, the 13-year-old victim was walking her friend home at Bomvini Location in Lusikisiki, when they were approached by a vehicle that offered them a lift. Khetshane was amongst the occupants in that vehicle. When the victim alighted from the vehicle, Mkhetshane followed her. She tried to run away but he caught up with her, assaulted and pulled her inside her room where he raped her at knifepoint and then left. She reported the incident to her sister who took her to the TCC.

During the trial, Khetshane pleaded not guilty on all four counts, claiming that all the victims had consented to have sex with him as they were his girlfriends. Acting Regional Court Prosecutor Siyabonga Macebo led evidence of eight witnesses, including investigating officer warrant officer Zwelithini Gentsane and warrant officer Thokozani Mquteni, a Forensic DNA Analyst. He submitted Victim Impact Statements prepared by Court Preparation Officer Zokhanyo Ngxishe. The court found no substantial and compelling circumstances for deviation from the prescribed minimum sentence of life.

Accepting the sentence, Eastern Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, Barry Madolo, commended all those involved for their roles in ensuring that justice is served.

Issued by:
Luxolo Tyali
NPA Regional Spokesperson
Eastern Cape Division
Tel: 0475012630
Cell: 0735559292
[12:23, 03/08/2023] Natasha Kara. NPA. KZA: PRESS RELEASE
03 AUGUST 2023


The Durban High Court sentenced Mxolisi Mzokhona Gcabashe (33), to life and 29 years imprisonment, for the various offences he committed between February 2021, and January 2022. He was convicted of theft, two counts of unlawful possession of firearms, two counts of unlawful possession of ammunition, and murder. In February 2021, he stole a Toyota Hilux vehicle valued at R450 000 from the Hillcrest area. Then in March 2021, he was found in unlaw possession of a firearm and ammunition in the KwaNyuswa area.

The deceased in the murder charge, Minenhle Calvin Mkhize, was the ANC ward councilor of Ward 103 in the Cliffdale area. He was voted into this position in the November 2021, national local government elections. His appointment caused unhappiness and disgruntlement amongst some of his fellow political party members. In January 2022, Mkhize was outside his home, seated in his vehicle when Gcabashe drove there. Gcabashe approached Mkhize and shot him several times before fleeing the scene. Mkhize died immediately as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to the skull and its contents. A month later, police recovered the vehicle used in the shooting at Gcabashe’s home. The car belonged to him. He was also found in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

In court, Senior State Advocate Elvis Gcweka (assisted by Advs Nhlanhla Shange and Bonga Vika), led the evidence of eyewitnesses who saw the murder unfold, as well as the evidence of police officials and cellphone data. The state also led ballistic evidence linking Gcabashe to the murder, as firearm cartridges found on the scene matched the gun that was found in his possession upon arrest. Gcweka handed in a Victim Impact Statement compiled by Mkhize’s mother and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer, Prudence Geraud. In her statement, the mother said that Mkhize was her only child and they shared a close relationship. He was a good father and cared for everyone. She said that his death has left a void in their lives. His children are performing poorly at school as they too cannot get over what happened.

Gcabashe was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 20 years imprisonment for the two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm (8 and 12 years respectively), 6 years imprisonment for the two counts of unlawful possession of ammunition (4 and 2 years respectively), and three years imprisonment for the theft. The sentences will run concurrently with the term of life imprisonment. He was declared unfit to possess a firearm and the court made an order that Mkhize’s family must be consulted by the Department of Correctional Services if Gcabashe is ever considered for parole.

The National Prosecuting Authority welcomes the sentence, and we commend the successful partnership between the Prosecution and the Political Task Team. Political killings are rife in KZN, and we hope that sentences of this nature will serve as a deterrent to like-minded individuals. The NPA and its partners are determined to bring perpetrators to account for their actions.

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