Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Bloemfontein: Three accused were sentenced in Bloemfontein High Curt on charges of rape and robbery. All three were linked to five counts of rape cases opened at Kopanong and Bloemspruit through DNA.

Two of them; Lusindiso and Thembinkosi, were found guilty on all five counts and were sentenced, while the third accused; Thabiso, will be sentenced on 20 June 2019 after he was found guilty on two counts of rape.

Lusindiso Ndosana (22) was sentenced to 23 years direct imprisonment on each count of rape and robbery totaling 115 years of imprisonment. However, these sentences are going to run concurrently meaning he is going to spend 23 years in jail.

His co-accused, Thembinkosi Dineka (23) was sentenced to 18 years direct imprisonment for each count, totaling to 90 years imprisonment. His sentence is also going to run concurrently meaning he is going to spend 18 years in jail.

The third accused, Thabiso Lekhesi (19) will be sentenced later.

It was discovered during trial that on 31 May 2015 at 18:00 two friends aged 17 and 16 years were walking on the street in Chris Hani Square when they were forcefully taken by four BTK gang members to an open space near Phase six where they took turns in raping them.

They threatened to kill them if they reported the matter. One of the victim (17) recalled that one of the suspect, Lekhesi was her classmate in primary school.

On the second incident, a 25 year old victim was returning from work at High Way Supermarket. The victim indicated that it was dark and she asked her boss to drop her near her home but he refused.

She crossed the main road heading to Freedom Square when she was attacked by three males. They forced her into a passage where they took turns into raping her before they ran away with her cellphone and money.

On the third incident; a 16 year old victim was on her way home from a friend’s place in Chris Hani Square. Two unknown African males held her at a knife point instructing her to keep quite. They took her to Phase six on an open space before they took turns into raping her.

On the fourth incident, a 23 year old victim was walking from Freedom Square towards Phase six. Along the way she discovered that she was followed by four males. She tried to run away but she was accosted and cornered at gun point and forced into a nearby dumping side where she was gang raped.

On the last and fifth incident, a 39 year old victim and her friend (30), both alighted a taxi in Dewetsdorp road. They were pounced at by four unknown males at knife point who demanded their cellphones and money. They ordered them to come along to an open space near Phase six where they took turns into raping them.

The cases were assigned to Constable Mosiuwa Ntholeng of Provincial Serial and Electronic Crime Investigation Unit (SECI). He immediately took all the docket to DNA task team, where it was discovered that all the cases are having a common suspects.

Information was followed to the primary school and it led to the arrest of Thabiso Lekhesi. Interviews was conducted and more evidence was recovered which led to the arrest of other two suspects, Thembinkosi Dineka and Lusindiso Ndosana who were already serving ten years sentence for gang rape.

All five cased were initially closed as undetected in 2015. Constable Ntholeng took over the investigation and reopened them as cold cases. He then interviewed the complainants and encouraged them to attend court proceedings until the justice was served for them.

His eagerness to follow through the cases led to the accused being successfully sentenced.