Groblersdal - The South African Police Service (SAPS) in Limpopo has welcomed the conviction and sentences handed down to two convicted rapists in two separate cases this week.
In the regional court in Marble Hall, near Groblesdal, Mangoato Serage, 25, was sentenced to an effective 24 years imprisonment for rape, Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said on Saturday.
This followed an incident in 2016 when Serage accosted a 12-year-old girl on the way home in the evening. "They walked together, but on the way Serage produced a knife, forcing the victim to the nearby bushes where he raped her several times," Ngoepe said.
"The little girl later went home and immediately reported the matter to her mother who called the the police and the initial investigations ensued. The swift reaction by a team of detectives saw the suspect being traced and arrested at Leeufontein village. He appeared before court several times for bail application which was successfully opposed."
"Meanwhile, members of the family violence, child protection, and sexual offence unit worked diligently in gathering all the evidence, combining puzzles until all the evidence pointed to the accused, resulting with his conviction," Ngoepe said.
In Letsitele at Tzaneen, the regional court in Nkowankowa handed down an effective 40 years imprisonment to John Chitlango, 53, for two counts of rape. This followed an incident in 2015 when he was a security officer at Lwandlamuni High School and raped a 13-year-old girl at Nwamintwa, Lwandlamuni village, Ngoepe said.
Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Jim Ledwaba commended all role-players involved in "removing these dangerous criminals from our streets".
"I understand the young girls were robbed of their dignity so early, but I hope these sentences will restore their confidence and give great comfort to them, especially knowing that the perpetrators will be locked in jail for life," Ledwaba said.
African News Agency (ANA)