The High Court of South Africa, North West Division, sitting at the Ga-Rankuwa Regional Court sentenced a 24-year-old man to five life terms for rape and a cumulative 300 years, for other serious offences.
Sbongiseni Njabulo Ngwenya, aged 24, was convicted of rape housebreaking and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
He faced 39 criminal charges, 16 of which were for rape, nine counts of armed robbery, 13 housebreaking charges and one attempted murder charge.
The court declared Ngwenya unfit to possess a firearm, and had ordered he be added to the register of sexual offenders.
He has also been declared unsuitable to work with children.
Nqwenya has since told the court he wants to appeal his sentence. The appeal is expected to be heard on Friday, 27 May 2022.
Ngwenya was arrested in September 2018, after his victims reported a series of crimes to the authorities.
Ngwenya’s modus operandi was targeting women and children in their homes at night.
He would break into their houses after they fell asleep, hold them at gunpoint, and rob them of TV sets, cellphones, and money before raping them and fleeing the scene.
Three of his rape victims were minors aged 12, 14 and 16. Ngwenya’s DNA successfully linked him to the rape cases – resulting in his conviction.
At some point during his rampage, Ngwenya was accompanied by co-accused Bongani Masuku.
The court heard how both men terrorised unsuspecting women in Klipgat and Winterveld between 2016 and 2018.
Masuku is currently serving life imprisonment for the same offences, and various others he committed alone.
He later turned state witness, testifying about how he and Ngwenya executed their crimes.
Ngwenya initially denied knowing Masuku, but later conceded that Masuku was the mastermind behind their attack because he was only 18 at the time these crimes were committed.
The court however established through evidence presented, that Ngwenya committed some of the offences by himself.
On the attempted murder charge, he accosted two young girls as they entered their home.
When their brother appeared from the other room, Ngwenya shot him in the leg and forced the girls to a nearby bush where he then raped them.
State attorney Adv McDonald Ndimande, when arguing for the maximum penalty, reminded the court that South Africa is grappling with a gender-based violence crisis, which needs to be addressed by the criminal justice system.
He warned the court not to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence because the victims were violated in their homes, which they consider a place of safety.
Judge Rose Nonyana agreed with the state, alluding to the public outcry on the prevalence of rape, saying citizens’ hopes are pinned on the courts to deal with such cases decisively and that of gender-based violence.
If you – or anyone you know – are exposed to sexual violence or assault of any kind, reach out to the TEARS foundation on 010 590 5920 or by dialing *134*7355#.
They can also be contacted via email on [email protected] or through their website. Alternatively, locate the nearest centre to you.
Contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111, the Gender-Based Violence toll-free number on 0800 428 428, or Childline on 0800 055 555.
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