POTCHEFSTROOM -North West police commissioner Lt-Gen Sello Kwena has welcomed the lengthy terms of imprisonment handed down to two convicted rapists in Taung and Phokeng this week, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province said.
The Taung Regional Court on Thursday sentenced a 25-year-old man to two terms of life imprisonment on two counts of rape, Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said in a statement.
The man raped two minors, aged nine and 11, on the afternoon of Saturday, January 6, 2018, at Maphoitsile village near Taung. It was reported to the local police that the victims were on their way home from a family cultural ceremony when they came across the man. He then took the pair to the veld where he raped them.
The matter was reported at the Taung Police Station police and the perpetrator was arrested a few hours later by officers of the Pudimoe family violence, child protection, and sexual offences (FCS) unit. He had been held in custody since his arrest. He had previous convictions for drug trafficking and assault, Mokgwabone said.
In the second case, in the Tlhabane Regional Court near Rustenburg, Dannyboy Johannes Ramela, 48, was sentenced to a total of 49 years imprisonment on three counts of rape. He raped three women, then aged 21, 23, and 24, between January 2011 and January 2013 in Chaneng village, near Phokeng outside Rustenburg, Mokgwabone said.
"As part of the accused’s method of committing these crimes, he would, during the night, wait for the victims, then threaten them with a knife before taking them into the bushes. The victims would then be assaulted and ultimately raped."
Following a thorough investigation by the Rustenburg FCS unit, the perpetrator was arrested in December 2013 and also linked to two other cases through his DNA. He had also been in custody since his apprehension, and had previous convictions for various crimes, including possession of suspected stolen goods, rape, burglary, robbery, and assault.
Ramela was sentenced to two 13-year imprisonment terms on two counts of rape and 23 years imprisonment on the third rape charge. He would serve an effective 36 years in jail, as the two 13-year terms would run concurrently, Mokgwabone said.
Kwena commended the investigating officers, Sergeant Keolebogile Masire and Captain Mokgatlhe Mokgatlhe, for their determination to make certain that the perpetrators received maximum sentences.
The sentences would send a strong message that police, working together with other role-players, would continue to work hard to ensure that those committing crimes against women and children, a national priority, were arrested and convicted, he said.