‘She pleaded for her life’: Two men dragged, assaulted and took turns raping homeless woman

Thabo Maseko, and an accomplice who is on the run, confronted a homeless woman, dragged her and took turns raping her. File Picture

Thabo Maseko, and an accomplice who is on the run, confronted a homeless woman, dragged her and took turns raping her. File Picture

Published May 31, 2024


The Sasolburg Regional Court has sentenced 32-year-old rapist, Thabo Maseko to life imprisonment after he was convicted of assaulting and raping a homeless woman.

On September 16, 2021, Maseko and his unknown co-perpetrator confronted the victim who was heating herself at a fire on the street at night, as she is homeless.

“Realising that the victim was defenceless and homeless, they took advantage of her situation and began dragging her. They also started to assault the victim, accusing her of being some other woman they know named Sibongile,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Free State acting regional spokesperson, Mojalefa Senokoatsane.

The hapless woman pleaded for her life, insisting that she was not Sibongile.

“While still pleading with the accused (Maseko) and his unknown conspirator, the unknown assailant started to rape the victim. Instead of stopping this crime, (Maseko) also proceeded by raping the victim. They then left her at the scene,” said Senokoatsane.

The woman, who was not too far from the police station, then went and reported the matter to police.

“The police were able to track and locate the accused as he was known by the victim, and he was arrested and charged with rape. During the trial, the defence argued that this was not the worst rape case the court had dealt with and that the court should deviate from the maximum sentence,” said Senokoatsane.

Thabo Maseko was tracked by police and arrested because the raped woman knew him. File Picture: Shayne Robinson

However, Regional Prosecutor, Ntombi Marase argued that there was no better or worse rape.

Marase submitted that the crime of rape is demeaning and an atrocious act.

“The accused took advantage of the victim as she was homeless, disregarding her rights,” Marase submitted.

Court preparation officer Kelly Mbasa assisted the 28-year-old woman with compiling her victim impact statement which detailed how the rape had affected her, and how Maseko had shown no remorse, even when she pleaded with him, considering that they knew each other.

The raped woman also told the court that she was stripped of her dignity, and she did not deserve what had happened to her.

In sentencing Maseko, the court found that the accused man and his unknown assailant planned this horrific crime as they followed the victim from a tavern.

The court held that it would be careful not to accept every “flimsy reason” to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence.

“There were no substantial and compelling circumstances that warranted the court to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence. The accused was sentenced to life imprisonment,” said Senokoatsane.

Maseko was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.

“The National Prosecuting Authority reiterates that all cases of sexual violence encroach on the rights to dignity and privacy of the victims as enshrined in our Constitution, hence the NPA aggressively prosecutes these cases,” said Senokoatsane.