Limpopo rapist condemned to long stay behind prison walls

President Cyril Ramaphosa has many times spoken about how gender-based violence has become a pandemic in the country, saying the justice system is fighting tooth and nail to put the perpetrators behind bars.

Indeed, the law has struck again, sending Lucky Mashatola to prison for 57 years following his conviction at the Polokwane High Court on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old was found guilty of attempted rape, three counts of rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and housebreaking with intent to commit an offence.

Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in Limpopo, said the accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The court heard that between February 2018 and December 2021, the accused threatened two of his victims with a knife while demanding to have sex with them.

“The other victim was sleeping alone in her house when the accused broke in and raped her. He further took the cellphone of the other victim.”

In aggravation of the sentence, state advocate Sewela Rangwato submitted that rape does not only violate the victim’s privacy and personal integrity, but also leaves a serious psychological and physical impact.

“Women should walk freely on the streets, and do their shopping without fear of being victimised,” said Rangwato.

The prosecutor further said there are no substantial or compelling circumstances for the court to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence.

Judge George Phathudi remarked that the accused did not show any remorse, telling the courtroom that the victims’ right to movement was violated, and that the accused used objects to threaten them.

The NPA welcomed the sentence and applauded “the good work done by advocate Rangwato and investigating officer Sergeant Mike Motalane” of the serial and electronic crimes investigation.


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