RUSTENBURG – Two friends were sentenced to life imprisonment for rape at the Sibasa Regional Court in Limpopo, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.
NPA spokesperson in Limpopo Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, said Murendeni Siliga, 22, and Omphulusa Ramakuela, 27, from Muledane village were further sentenced to five years for kidnapping and three years for robbery.
"The court ordered that the sentence of kidnapping and robbery run concurrently with the life imprisonment," she said.
Siliga and Ramakuela were arrested on September 9, 2017, following the rape of an 18-year-old girl.
“On September 6, 2017, Ramakuela met the victim with her boyfriend who was accompanying her to study in preparation for Grade 12 trial examination and threatened the boyfriend and instructed him to leave behind the victim as he is not allowed to date girls from the other side of the township.
“He was also informed that further resistance will be responded to with violence. He then dragged the victim to the nearby bushes wherein he forcefully undressed her before raping her and when he finished he called his friend Siliga.”
The two took the girl to Siliga’s homestead, where Ramakuela forcefully took R7 from the girl to buy cigarettes.
“Both accused raped the victim the whole night. In the morning, she begged them to be released and the accused warned her not to tell anyone or they will kill her.”
Malabi-Dzhangi said during the trial, Ramakuela raised alibi that he was in a love relationship with the girl and he had consensual sexual penetration and Siliga alleged that he was forced to rape the girl by his co-accused Ramakuela.
“The court rejected both versions of the accused. The witness of the accused who was alleged to know the relationship between Siliga and the victim never came to court to testify even though the defence was given several times to call such a witness.
“The court found that the state has proven its case beyond reasonable doubt and convicted both accused.”
She said prosecutor Steven Muavha argued that for a new civilisation that upholds respect for women and their dignity the hardcore criminal who pounced on vulnerable members of society should be removed permanently from the community.
He urged the court to consider the trauma suffered by the victim looking at the accused’s inhumane actions. He pleaded with the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence.