Eastern Cape cop finally jailed after raping detainee 12 years ago
CAPE TOWN - An Eastern Cape policeman has finally been jailed after the conclusion of a 12-year-old rape case.
According to TimesLive, Warrant Officer Mhlobo Mpela, 52, was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for the rape of a detainee in November 2008 in the Mthatha Regional Court.
Mpela, who was a sergeant at the time of the incident, was working the night shift when he went to the female holding cells, the publication reported.
Spokesperson for the Eastern Cape National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Luxolo Tyali, said Mpela took the then 44-year-old woman from the cells to offices within the police station.
He raped the woman orally and anally and then instructed her to “clean herself off with tissue paper” before he returned her to the holding cells.
After telling fellow detainees what had happened, the woman tried reporting the matter to another police officer, but was told “they were still busy handing over duties”.
The woman managed to have a case registered when she reported the incident again, this time to a police colonel on duty, and was taken for medical attention.
According to AlgoaFM, Mpela claimed the woman, who was detained for allegedly murdering her husband, asked for his help and initiated the sexual encounter.
Tyali said there had been numerous delays with the case over the years as Mpela changed lawyers, and the presiding officer and prosecutor both passed on, which resulted in the trial having to restart afresh.
The state called for the minimum sentence of life imprisonment, however, magistrate Joe Govuza found substantial and compelling circumstances to justify deviating from the minimum sentence, the publication reported.
Tyali added the sentence was welcomed by the NPA.
African News Agency (ANA)