Thursday, 24 January 2008

Rapist sentenced to 18 years

January 23 2008 at 01:50PM

By Sherlissa Peters

Nineteen-year-old David Ngwane sat quietly in the dock of the Pietermaritzburg High Court as he was sentenced to an effective 18 years' imprisonment for housebreaking with intent to rob, robbery with aggravating circumstances and rape.

The teenager confessed to viciously attacking a 58-year-old at her home in Greytown on December 22 last year.

In his statement to the court, Ngwane said that on the day of the attack, he was with his colleague, S'bonelo Gcabashe.

They both worked as general labourers on a farm neighbouring the victim's. On that afternoon, they had received their wages.

"Gcabashe was not happy with his pay and he came up with a plan to rob the victim. I agreed to assist him and we both went to the victim's home that night," Ngwane said.

Ngwane said that Gcabashe forced open a window and the two entered the house.

They accosted the victim and Gcabashe began strangling and hitting her.

"Gcabashe instructed me to get a knife from the kitchen, which I did. At knifepoint, he demanded money from the woman. She told us where it was and I went to fetch it," Ngwane said.

He said when he returned from getting the money, he saw Gcabashe had moved the woman to a bedroom where he raped her.

"When he (Gcabashe) was done, I took the woman to another bedroom and raped her as well," he said. The two fled, taking R60 000, a cellphone and ring.

The victim was severely assaulted, sustaining injuries, including bruising, several stab wounds and other lacerations doctors believe were caused by being struck with a blunt object.

State prosecutor Nqobile Maphalala labelled the attack one of the most brutal she'd seen. While Judge President Vuka Tshabalala agreed with her, he found that Ngwane's plea of guilty, his show of remorse, youthfulness and willingness to testify against his co-perpetrator all pointed to the possibility of rehabilitation.

He sentenced Ngwane to 15 years' imprisonment for robbery and 25 years for rape, to run concurrently.

He may not be released for parole until he has severved 18 years.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Daily News on January 23, 2008


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