The Circuit of the North Gauteng High Court sitting at Delmas, sentenced 37-year-old Smanga “Balaclava” Gwebu to 12 life sentences and an additional 194 years in prison for rape, housebreaking, contravening Section 21(2) of the Sexual Offences Act, robbery with aggravating circumstances and pointing of firearm.
The accused undertook his reign of terror over a period of 10 years, spanning from 2004 to 2014, where he terrorised the people of Vosman, near Witbank
Gwebu would break into his victims’ houses at night, threaten them with a knife or firearm and raped some in front of their families, and sometimes rob them of their belongings.
Though he pleaded not guilty, the witnesses, National Prosecuting Authority, Police, Judiciary as well as the Forensics managed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Gwebu was guilty.
Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma said that people were not free in their lives and homes due to problematic people such as Gwebu. He said that the police will work relentlessly in making sure that such people are removed from society so that law-abiding citizens may benefit from the fruits of the constitution of this country. He further applauded the good work by the versatile team for arriving at the guilty verdict and meting out the hefty sentences.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the sentences will serve as a deterrent to other would be criminals,” said General Zuma.
(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde)