File picture: Independent Media
Kimberley - The man who was found guilty of raping and killing his girlfriend on a smallholding next to the Kimberley racecourse was handed a life sentence for each of his two convictions in the Northern Cape High Court on Friday.

Earlier last week, Simon Zuba was found guilty of killing his 25-year-old girlfriend, Margaret Olyn, in November 2014.

The 38-year-old originally faced four charges, including two charges of rape, one charge of murder and a charge of attempted rape.

He was found not guilty on the one charge of rape (sexual intercourse without the consent of the deceased), as well as the charge of attempted rape (attempting to penetrate the dead body of the deceased anally).

He was found guilty on the second rape charge (penetrating the deceased vaginally with a sharp object without her consent), as well as the charge of murder.

Before delivering her sentence on Friday, acting Judge Janine Snyders said that while there was little evidence that the couple had been in an abusive relationship, it had been Zuba’s responsibility to protect the deceased from harm rather than inflicting it upon her.

“The deceased was 25 years old, small in stature and the accused, as her partner, should have been the one to protect her,” said Snyders. “Instead, she was hurt by the person she should have been able to trust the most in the place that she should have felt the safest.

“The accused had the direct intention to kill. This was an inhumane and vicious rape and murder. She must have been assaulted over a period of time as there was hardly a part of her body that was not covered in bites and bruises.”

To emphasise her point, Snyders added that the genitals of the deceased had been cut open when she was penetrated with a sharp object.

“This is the most serious of crimes,” she said. “Crimes against women and children are so prevalent that our country sets aside a month to raise awareness, indicating how the public feels about this kind of crime.”

Northern Cape police welcomed the sentencing.

“The accused and his girlfriend were residing together on a farm near Kimberley, where he was employed as a general worker. Zuba beat up Olyn, raped and stabbed her with a sharp object and then strangled her to death. The deceased also had numerous bite marks to her face, torso, arms and back. Zuba was arrested on the same day by the police,” police spokesperson, captain Sergio Kock, said.

“The acting Provincial Commissioner for the Northern Cape Major-General Koliswa Otola lauds Detective Warrant Officer Desmond Markgraaff, from the Kimberley SAPS Serious and Violent Crimes unit, for a brilliant job done."

“It is with pride that we see our members working extremely hard to remove criminals from our streets. The convictions result in justice for the victims concerned and the community feels safer when the perpetrators are incarcerated. It also sends out a stern message that crimes and violence against women and children will not be tolerated,” said Kock.

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