Commissioner welcomes rapist's removal from society
DELMAS - The Provincial Commissioner for Police in Mpumalanga, Lt Genl Mondli Zuma, has welcomed the sentencing of a rapist, passed during a sitting of the High Court Division of Mpumalanga in Delmas on January 23. Sipho Samson “Oneman” Masombuka (35) received eight life sentences, as well as 553 years’ imprisonment, after being found guilty on 70 counts that included rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping and the pointing of a firearm.These crimes were committed between 2008 and 2018 in Kwaggafontein, Siyabuswa, Dennilton and surrounding areas.
In handing down the sentence, Judge Neliswa Mali said that the accused had no conscience, as he went so far as to insult and belittle his victims whilst committing these atrocious crimes. Judge Mali emphasised that women are not safe while people like Masombuka are roaming the streets. She added that the community can now breathe easier, as this predator had been removed from society.
The court heard how Masombuka terrorized vulnerable women, aged between 16 and 40, in their own homes. Masombuka, who carried a firearm, would attack his victims in the streets and rob them of their belongings such as cell phones, after which he would kidnap them. He would, at times, even break into the homes of his victims while they were asleep. After threatening them with a firearm and taking their belongings, he would rape them. A plethora of cases were opened by the victims, and, in most of these cases, the victims were unknown. The investigation team worked ceaselessly to close the net around this maniac. He was finally arrested and linked to all the cases through his DNA found at the scenes. Detectives ensured their case was watertight before submitting evidence to court. The latter was so overwhelming that Masombuka was found guilty on each of the charges levelled against him.
Zuma lauded the investigation team of Kwamahlanga’s Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit, as well as the prosecuting authority and the judiciary, for their excellent work in ensuring justice for the victims. "Words cannot really express my appreciation for the outstanding work done by the investigation team, which led to the subsequent conviction and sentencing of the accused. This is a clear demonstration that the SAPS are determined and committed to decisively deal with those rotten elements who commit gender-based violence. I believe that this sentence will serve as a deterrent to all would-be rapists,” he said.
"This sentencing has once again proved that the FCS Unit, as one of the structures that had been put into place to address gender-based violence, is making great strides in achieving the goal of ensuring the safety of the women in our society,” Zuma concluded.
Police continue to appeal to anyone who might have information about crimes to contact the SAPS Crime Stop number at 086 00 10111. People are also encouraged to download the MySAPSApp on iPhone or Android. This app allows users to provide police with tip-offs. Callers remain anonymous, and all information is treated in the strictest confidence.
Editor: Anchen Coetzee
Subeditor: Lynette Brink
Submitted by: Brig Leonard Hlati