The Limpopo Division of High Court of South Africa in Polokwane on Wednesday, 19 July 2023 have convicted and sentenced a 44-year-old male accused Lucky Kgatledi Raphela for rape on four counts to 40 years with 20 years direct imprisonment.
The accused was found guilty of rape on four counts and sentenced to ten years imprisonment on each count subsequently two terms will run concurrently and the other two terms will run consecutively.
The court heard that the accused offered his four victims a lift on four different dates between 16 January 2018 and 07 November 2021 around Phalaborwa.
The accused then drove with his victims to the bushes nearby and raped them, respectively.
The victims are not known to each other.
It is reported that the accused committed the first offense on 16 January 2018, at Selwane village. The incident was followed by another one on 9 September 2018 at Potgieter Street, Phalaborwa later on 15 February 2020 at Ngwe Pak in Phalaborwa.
Then followed the one on 7 November 2021 at Mashishimale village.
It is reported that in all the four incidents the suspect was unknown to the victims.
The accused’s luck came to an end when he was arrested on 26 October 2022 following a lengthy investigation and he was linked to the crime scene through DNA.
The four cases were opened in Phalaborwa, Lulekani and Namakgale and were transferred to Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for investigations in Phalaborwa in collaboration with the Investigative Psychology Section.
The Investigating team were Captain Beverly Mbedzi, Warrant Officer Vincent Mukwevho and Sergeant Oral Mhlongo and they worked tirelessly around the clock in making sure that the suspect is arrested and convicted. This team of hardworking and dedicated Police officers successfully opposed bail against the accused.
The accused has been declared unfit to possess a firearm.
The court has ordered that Lucky’s particulars to be endorsed in the Register for Sexual Offenders.
The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe welcomed the meticulous investigation as well as collaborative work by all relevant team members that resulted to the Court Outcome.