Two suspects have been convicted of rape, housebreaking, robbery, kidnapping and theft, after they broke into a woman’s home, kidnapped and raped her.
18-year-old Pheneas Kgomo and 31-year-old Lesiba Mercharson Molokomme, from Vianna village in Limpopo, were sentenced in the Lephalale Regional Court on Tuesday. Kgomo was convicted of housebreaking, robbery with aggravating circumstances, rape, kidnapping and theft of a motor vehicle, and his accomplice was convicted of rape, kidnapping and motor vehicle theft.
It was presented in court that on 23 November 2018, Kgomo broke into the rented home of his former teacher. He threatened her at knifepoint and robbed her of her belongings, before tying her up with an electrical cord and raping her.
Kgomo then put her inside the boot of her car and drove towards Vianna village, along with his co-accused, Molokomme. They went to a nearby ATM and withdrew her money, and then drove off to nearby bushes, where they again tied her up and raped her.
The teacher was left in the bushes, but broke loose and sought help from the nearest community. Her car was later found abandoned next to Vianna village, and Kgomo was arrested while in possession of her car keys.
Both Kgomo and Molokomme denied the accusations in court, with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) saying they showed no remorse, despite the overwhelming evidence against them.
Prosecutor Billy Mudavhi led the evidence of the teacher, who told the court she felt humiliated by the ordeal, and with Kgomo as her former student, she now had to deal with the stigma of being known as the teacher who was raped by her student.
The state argued that despite Kgomo being a minor when the incident occurred, he was the ‘mastermind’ behind the plan. The state also asked the court not to deviate from the minimum sentence for Molokomme, and to stay true to sentencing regimes passed by parliament.
The court, however, found compelling and substantial circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence, and Kgomo was sentenced to six years for housebreaking, 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, and 20 years for rape.
Molokomme was sentenced to life imprisonment for rape, five years for kidnapping, and seven years for the theft of a motor vehicle.
The court ordered that all counts run concurrently with the counts of rape.