A man, who used a chip packet as a condom, laughed in the face of justice as he and his two accomplices were sentenced on Monday to a combined 215 years by Magistrate Asheena Bacharam for multiple crimes, reports the South Coast Herald.
In another of the 18 crimes, a woman was tortured with burning plastic and threatened with being raped in front of her young son.
The Scottburgh Magistrates’ Court heard how in November 2011 Siyabonga Richard Gumede raped a woman continually while his two co-accused went to the bank to bleed her dry financially. He laughed in the dock during the hearing.
Scelo Derrick Mkhize, Smakahle Shabalala and Gumede’s reign of terror lasted from October 4, 2011, until to November 21 that same year.
These criminals had a “systematic and well-planned routine”, which was spread over two months, said investigating officer Detective Warrant Officer Yugen Moodley.
The crimes committed were so heinous and barbaric that a special task team was appointed.
Mkhize was sentenced to a total of 50 years, Shabalala to 60 years and Gumede to 55 years. The sentences will not run concurrently.
They were found guilty on charges of housebreaking, robbery and theft as well as a charge of rape.
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Two of the worst crimes committed occurred at two different hotels. In one incident, the victim was attending a training seminar in Scottburgh on November 18, 2011, and stayed at a hotel for the duration.
While she was asleep during the early hours of the morning, the men broke into her hotel room.
Held at gunpoint, she was forced to hand over her bank card, clothing, cellphone and cash. She was threatened with death if she did not disclose her banking pin code.
While two of his co-accused proceeded to an ATM to withdraw money, Gumede stayed with the victim and raped her twice using a potato crisp packet as a homemade condom.
Another incident occurred mere hours beforehand, when the trio broke into another guest’s hotel room, where she and her son were fast asleep.
They woke the mother, held her at gunpoint and tortured her by burning plastic on her back.
They threatened to wake her son and rape her in front of him if she did not disclose her banking pin code. She was robbed of items worth R3 500.
The trio faced 18 counts, with almost every incident involving torture and assault.
Statistics noted by the investigating officer were addressed by Magistrate Bacharam who made the gallery aware of an increase in crimes against women and the elderly.
This sentencing was considered a major success for police in general as only six percent of these types of cases were ever solved.
– Caxton News Service