Byline: Andani Matumba

10 November 2022

Nhlanhla Mlotshwa (Shabangu) was sentenced on Wednesday, 09 November 2022 for rape and murder by the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court which was sitting in Middleburg.

According Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, spokesperson of Mpumalanga SAPS, Mhlotshwa terrorized a number of women between the year 2021 and 2022 and on 24 April 2021 the accused went to New Stand in Driefontein and attacked Sibongile Msibi (36) whom he raped as well as stabbed her multiple times and she sadly died as a result.

Msibi’s body was dumped next to the bushes in the area and after this horrific deed, the accused fled.

Mohlala said, “On 18 July 2021, the accused attacked Mbali Nkosi (16) whilst she was at her parents’ house in Driefontein. He raped then strangled her to death, using a waist belt. He then fled soon after committing this atrocious act”.

“The accused further attacked Happiness Thela (31) on 02 May 2022 as she walking in the street at Driefontein where he stabbed her to death after his attempts to rape her failed,” added Brigadier Mohlala.

Cases were opened and registered at Dirkiesdorp Police Station for all three cases.

Police worked tirelessly to apprehend the suspect and an investigation team was established to probe these dreadful incidents that were perpetuated by the accused against defenceless women.

The accused was subsequently arrested in Driefontein on 02 May 2022 after the attack of the last victim.

Mlotshwa (Shabangu) was linked to all three cases as well as linked to another murder, rape and attempted rape in Paulpietersburg (in KZN Province).

The accused pleaded guilt to three counts of murder and two counts of rape and will still go on trial for the Paulpietersburg cases.

He was convicted on 07 November 2022 hence his sentence today as follows:

For one count of rape, he was sentenced to life imprisonment and he was slapped with three life sentences for three counts of murder however, he was also sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for the other count of murder.

The four life sentences will run separately and not run concurrently however the 18 years will run concurrently with the life sentences.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has commended the hardwork displayed by the investigation team, the Prosecution team and the Judiciary which culminated into the well deserved sentence. “We trust that the sentence will deter others who perpetuate violence against women” said the General.