Saturday, April 16, 2011

195 years in jail


Durban - A 21-year-old man was jailed for 195 years in prison after being found guilty on multiple counts of rape, robbery and murder in the Ramsgate High Court, Durban police said on Saturday.

Colonel Jay Naicker said Sthembiso Rasta Mbhele of Amahlongwa, near Umkomaas, was arrested in December 2009.

He was charged with nine counts of rape, nine counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, one of attempted rape and one of murder.

Mbhele appeared in court on Thursday where he was found guilty on six counts of rape, six counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, one of attempted rape and one of murder.

On Friday, he was sentenced to a total of 195 years imprisonment - which consisted of 10 years imprisonment for the rapes, 15 years for the robberies, five years for attempted rape, a life sentence for murder and another life sentence for a sixth rape conviction where the victim was a juvenile.

Mbhele had approached his victims with the promise of employment and would lure them to an isolated area where he would then threaten them with a knife and a broken bottle before raping and robbing them, Naicker said.

His last victim, who was attacked in December 2009, was the sister of a friend of his. She was raped and stabbed six times in her chest and a large rock was placed on top of her.

The woman later managed to stumble to a house in Roseneath, Umkomaas where she sought help.

She was able to identify her attacker and he was arrested the very next day in Kwandengezi, Marianhill,. The woman later died in hospital.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Blessing Ngcobo said he was relieved that the trial was finally over and that Mbhele would no longer be a threat to society.

"Let this be a warning to criminals. You can run and you can hide but you can't hide forever. The long arm of the law will eventually catch you as we caught Mbhele", said Ngcobo.

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