File picture: Independent Media

Port Elizabeth - The Butterworth Regional Court has sentenced 20-year-old Phikolomzi Memani to 22 years behind bars for raping two teenage girls.

Captain Jackson Manatha, a local police spokesperson, on Thursday said Memani came across two 16-year-old girls on the night of 30 August 2015 in the Yako informal settlement in Butterworth.

The girls were collecting water from a local tap. They were in the company of a boy. Manatha said the accused chased the boy away, before he dragged both girls to his shack, where he raped them. 

One the girls said she needed the bathroom and was allowed to leave the shack. The police captain said the girl "ran for dear life". When she got home she told her family she had been raped. The matter was reported to the police. 

The accused was traced by the police and arrested. He was brought before the court, where he was found guilty of raping the girls. 

Manatha said the 22-year prison sentence imposed on Memani should serve as a deterrent to others.