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2022/08/31      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mohlala   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 30 August 2022 - Though violence perpetuated against women seems to be prevalent in the society, police are exhausting all their resources to battle the scourge. As result, today 30 August 2022 a 34-year-old serial rapist has been convicted by the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court in Mbombela on four counts of rape, two counts of house robbery, one count of theft as well as one count of house robbery.

Thokozani Prince Mazibuko was found guilty after the court was satisfied with the overwhelming evidence brought by the police against him. It is said that Mazibuko terrorized women in Nkomazi between 2013 and 2017.

The court heard how during the night of 15 January 2013, the accused together with his accomplice, being armed with a firearm broke into a house in Langloop where they found a 16 years old girl who was with her mother at the time. They then held both of them hostage, took a mobile phone and raped the minor in front of her mom before they fled the scene.

On 23 January 2013 during the night, the accused as well as his two accomplices, being armed with a firearm and a knife broke into another house in Boschfontein. They found a 16-year-old girl who was 7 months pregnant. They took her mobile phone as well as a laptop charger before they dragged her out of the house and summoned a third suspect to join them. The three then ganged raped the pregnant young woman in the bushes. The accused as well as his accomplices fled the scene thereafter. She then barely walked to a nearby house to get help.

The accused further broke into another house at Langloop during the night of 10 February 2013. He then found a young woman (25) with her two children aged one(01) and seven (07). The accused threatened his victim that he will stab her if she did not cooperate then unshamefully raped the her in front of her children before he fled the scene.

The accused further raped another woman (19) at Boschfontein during the night of 11 January 2017. The female victim is said to have been walking in the street then came across the accused and his accomplice who were both armed with a firearm and a knife. They then took her cash as well as her mobile phone then dragged her to a nearby bushes. They then ganged raped her before they fled the scene with the robbed items.

The incidents were all reported to the police and the dockets were assigned to the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit in Tonga. The cases were prioritised by the investigators who spent sleepless night in an effort to make a breakthrough.  They then connected the dots in the tour of their investigation and discovered that they were dealing with a serial rapist who was in the loose.

It was not long before they arrested the accused at Langloop on 16 January 2020 for a seperate rape case which occurred in Matsulu which has not yet been finalized. The astute members managed to link the accused to the alluded incidents of rape, house robberies, house breaking and theft.

During his court appearance police successfully opposed bail and he was remanded in custody throughout the trial. Mazibuko never exposed his accomplices in a trial which he was finally found guilty today (30 August 2022). He is expected to be sentenced on Thursday, 01 August 2022.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has gladly welcomed the conviction of the accused. "This conviction could not have come at a better time and we hope that he gets a maximum sentence so that a clear message is sent to perpetrators of Gender-Based-Violence" said the General.