Durban — On Thursday the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court is expected to hand down sentence to a convicted serial rapist and robber who used Facebook to lure his victims to Durban.
Philani Siyabonga Ndwandwe, 31, was convicted of five counts of rape and four counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances in June. He committed the rapes and robberies in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Evidence heard during the trial was that Ndwandwe would reach out to various women on Facebook, offering them prospective employment. He lured the women offering jobs that included child-minding and being tuck-shop assistants.
This was the case with four of the five victims who were all from areas outside of Durban, such as Port Shepstone, Umkomaas, and Bulwer.
Further to this the court heard how once the women arrived in Durban and he had met with them he would ask them to walk with him in order to take them to the places they would be working at.
The first complainant was a 53-year-old whom he accosted whilst she was on her way to work early on July 21, 2018. Ndwandwe’s other victims were in their 20s and 30s, he would rape and rob the women at knifepoint.
He was traced and arrested following police investigations.
It emerged during his trial that some of the cellphones and other personal belongings of the victims were found in his possession upon his arrest. Further to this, it was found that DNA leads with positive matches also linked him to the offences he was convicted of.
After Magistrate T Nomvungu found Ndwandwe guilty of the offences, address on sentence commenced.
“These ladies were desperate for jobs and would agree to meet with the accused in the Inanda area,” said State prosecutor Jenisha Sewbaran in aggravation of sentence. She said the accused took advantage of this to advance his intent to rob and rape them.
“He acted under false pretences, luring these ladies to him, and while the victims would walk with him, he would lead them to an isolated place, where he raped them and robbed them of their personal belongings like cellphones and money.”
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