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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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Duo get life sentences shortened to 25 years for rape, robbery

Two convicted rapists and robbers have had their life imprisonment sentences shortened, and will now each serve 25 years behind bars instead.

Two convicted rapists and robbers have had their life imprisonment sentences shortened, and will now each serve 25 years behind bars instead.

Published Jun 24, 2022

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Cape Town - Two convicted rapists and robbers have had their life imprisonment sentences shortened, and will now each serve 25 years behind bars instead.

One of the factors Western Cape High Court Judge Anton van Zyl considered during Siyabulela Yose and Masithobe Mrwetyana’s sentence appeals, was that the case dragged on for 13 years before they were sentenced.

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During that time, the pair had been incarcerated for nine years.

According to the court trial record, which had to be reconstructed in part, Yose and Mrwetyana each faced a charge of robbery with aggravated circumstances, four charges of kidnapping and five charges of rape before the Khayelitsha Regional Court.

Details relating to their crimes were that four men had accosted their victims when they were walking home.

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One of the men took out a firearm and the women were forced into a nearby shack where the rapes were committed.

Van Zyl, in judgment said: “The rapes in question were of the worst kind. The complainants were young, one of them only 13 years of age, and the other 17. The rapes were gang-rapes, and they were repeatedly committed. The complainants were forced to take part in sexual conduct between themselves. The effect of their ordeal will last for the complainants’ lifetimes.”

Van Zyl further said that sentencing is about achieving the right balance between the crime, the offender and the interests of the community.

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“The question is essentially whether, on a consideration of the particular facts of the case, the sentence imposed is proportionate to the offence, with reference to the nature of the office, the interests of society and the circumstances of the offender,” the judgment read.

While they had not submitted in heads of argument what appropriate sentences would be, counsel for the pair submitted that 20 years imprisonment would be appropriate.

In judgment, Van Zyl, said: “As regards the conduct of the trial it is deplorable that the proceedings against the appellants commenced in 2007. Judgment on conviction was delivered on November 22, 2019, and the appellants were sentenced on June 24, 2020. There was thus a period of 13 years between the inception of the proceedings and sentence.”

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The sentences were substituted and each of them received 25 years imprisonment sentences, backdated to June 2020 when they had been sentenced in the regional court.

Cape Times

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