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Polokwane - Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Ledwaba has applauded police officers for their constant hard work to apprehend dangerous criminals which led to the sentencing this week of five criminals for violent and serious crimes.

In the Burgersfort policing cluster, 34-year-old Thabo Ignicious Dibokwane was sentenced in the Sekhukhune Magistrate's Court to 13 years in jail for rape, Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe said.

The case followed after Dibokwane broke into a home through a window at Tuka-Kgomo village at about 11:10pm on June 12, 2016 and raped a 16-year-old girl.

In the Lephalale policing cluster, Albert Taurai, 34, from Mozambique, was slapped with 15 years imprisonment by the Lephalale Regional Court for raping a 25-year-old woman on June 29, 2015 in Leseding location in the Vaalwater policing area outside Lephalale, Ngoepe said.

The High Court in Polokwane sentenced a 27-year-old man to 20 years imprisonment for murder and theft. Mashadi Alfred Tladi from Mokgopoong was convicted of killing Magdelena Johanna Truter, 79, on February 3, 2017. Truter, who lived alone, was found strangled in her homestead at Golf Park in the Mookgopong policing precinct.

Also in Lephalale, two rhino poachers were each sentenced in the Lephalale Regional Court to 58 years imprisonment on several charges, including hunting protected species, theft, trespassing, and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. Kenny Mthethi, 35, and Sam None, 34, were sentenced following an incident on February 10, 2014 on a farm outside Lephalale.

"These poachers were apprehended during a joint operation by the police and the farmers after they followed the foot prints found at the farm which led them to the hideout place of the duo. During the apprehension the accused were found in possession of two rhino horns, a hunting rifle, and four rounds of ammunition," Ngoepe said.

These sentences had "brought a big smile and a cheer of heart" to the Limpopo police management. 

"Such excellent performances of acquiring jail terms put Limpopo on a high flag and we congratulate all these teams of detectives who were involved in all these cases on the job well done. Their hard work and passion of serving with pride to protect the citizens of this province has indeed produced fruitful and meaningful results,” Ledwaba said.

African News Agency/ANA