Pretoria – The High Court in Mbombela has sentenced 40-year-old Hendrick Nicholas Hanse van Reinsburg to two life sentences for rape and murder.
“It is said that on 13 October 2019, Andiswa Zitha, who was 20-year-old suffered violence which was perpetuated by the accused [Van Reinsburg]. It is further said that the accused raped her using a wooden object, a spoon, before he fled the scene, thereby leaving her in a pool of blood at Mjejane near Komatipoort,” according to Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.
Zitha was found by neighbours who took her to Tonga Hospital “but she was unfortunately certified dead the next day”, on 14 October 2019.
Police opened a murder case with an additional charge of rape. The matter was investigated by the police at Komatipoort.
“The members worked tirelessly in their investigation with the hope to find the perpetrator. Their hard work paid off when they arrested the accused at a tavern in Kamhlushwa on 20 October 2021,” said Mohlala.
“The accused was charged and taken to court where he was convicted and sentenced to one life sentence for rape as well as another life sentence for murder. The court also ordered for the sentences to run concurrently.”
Mohlala said additionaly, the court declared Van Reinsburg unfit to possess a firearm.
Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has “gladly welcomed” the sentence and appreciated the exceptional work done by the good Samaritans who took the victim to hospital.
She also commended the investigation team, the prosecution and the judiciary.
“It is unfortunate to have lost a life of a young girl in this manner. We also hope that the sentence will serve as a deterrence to others who might consider emulating the actions of the accused,” said Manamela.