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2023/03/13      |  Written By:  Brigadier M Mojapelo   |   Province:  Limpopo

POLOKWANE: 10 March 2023 - The Provincial Commissioner of police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has lauded the Provincial Serial and Electronic Crime Investigation Unit under the FCS Unit for securing lengthy prison terms after  the High Court in Thohoyandou sentenced a serial rapist to 17 life imprisonments. The other rapist was given 3 life sentences. Both were also sentenced to a combined over 400 years imprisonment. The sentences were passed  today on Friday 10 March 2023.

The court found the two men Nyandano Mudulahothe (29) and Peter Mugovha(33), guilty on numerous counts of rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, assault GBH, assault common and house breaking.These incidents which took several years began in 2011 when the accused, armed with firearms had terrorised the communities around Thohoyandou policing precinct and broke into their houses, brutality assaulted the victims before they raped and robbed them of their belongings. 

The court heard how a total of 26 victims aged between 12 and 30 were raped by the accused who humiliated and tortured them during their ordeals. In one of the indents that took place in 2015, the two men armed with firearms broke into a house at night, dragged  two sisters aged 4 and 14 from their bedroom to their parents' room, who were sleeping with their 6-month-old sibling. The accused brutally assaulted the couple and thereafter forced the man to have sexual intercourse with his wife in front of their children. The hardcore criminals thereafter took turns raping the 14-year-old child in the presence of her family before they robbed the victims cellphones and cash amount of money.

In another incident that occurred during the same year (2015), a 12-year-old girl was walking from school when she was accosted  by the accused who forced her to the nearby bushes and took turns raping her.

The cases were all opened at the Thohoyandou police station and were transferred to the Provincial Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses Unit for further investigation. The two accused where finally nabbed in 2016 following a  lengthy investigation, led by Detective Sergeant Kgatle of the Serial and Electronic Crime Investigation( SECI) Unit. The detective officer spent sleepless nights working on the cases while he applied his investigating skills and has gathered necessary evidence and taken statements from all the witnesses which led to the arrest of the duo in 2016.The accused made several court appearances and were denied bail until they were ultimately convicted and sentenced to multiple life imprisonments.

The sentences were passed as follows :

Accused no1: Nyandano Mudalahothe

▪ 03 counts of rape - 3 life sentences each

▪ 08 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances- 16 years imprisonment each

▪ 03 counts of house breaking with intent to commit crime- 5 years imprisonment each. The court ordered that count 2 and 3 run concurrently, meaning the accused will serve an effective 3 life terms in prison plus 15 years imprisonment.

Accused no 2: Peter Mugovha ( Zimbabwean National)

▪17 counts of rape: 17 life imprisonment

▪16 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances: 15 years imprisonment each

▪ 04 counts of house breaking: 05 years imprisonment each

▪ 03 counts of Assault GBH : 03 years imprisonment each

▪ 01 count of Assault Common: 01 year imprisonment

▪ 01 count Kidnapping: 05 years imprisonment.

The court ordered that count 2 to 6 run concurrently, meaning the accused will serve an effective 17 life terms in prison plus 15 years imprisonment.

"This is a milestone achievement for our province as two of the hardcore criminals were removed from the society. We hope the sentences will send a strong message to communities that crime will not be tolerated in this province especially against women and children, " said Lieutenant General Hadebe.