Byline: Refeloe Letsoisa

07 December 2023

Five years ago, a female victim who was 16 years old was gang-raped inside one of the accused’s vehicles at a certain tavern in Morgenzon.

It was heard in court that the trio, Sikhumbuzo Jacob Hlophe (38), Thokozani David Hlophe (28), and Thokozane Obert Zwane (30), raped the victim in December 2018.

The incident was reported to the police, and the case was assigned to the Standerton Family Violence, Child Protection, and Sexual Offenses (FCS) Unit, where investigators worked tirelessly and conducted an intense investigation, thereby making a breakthrough as they arrested all three suspects on the same day of the incident.

The three were found guilty and sentenced to 18 years of direct imprisonment each by the Secunda Regional Court on Monday, 04 December 2023.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, welcomed the sentence and commended the members’ quick response as well as the exceptional investigation that led to the sentence.

“The sentence came at a time when the world has embarked on 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children.

The sentence should serve as a deterrent and lesson for community members to refrain from any form of abuse,” said the general.