Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga has praised the work of investigating officer in the Grahamstown Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offence Unit, Detective Warrant Officer Luthando Mthyobile, for helping to put a rapist behind bars for life. A 21-year-old man was sentenced to life imprisonment for rape and 15 years for attempted murder in the Grahamstown High Court on Monday 3 August 2020.
The court heard that Mojalefa Rampai (21) was at a party with the survivor on the night of 7 December 2019. When the woman decided to walk to a nearby tavern, Rampai offered to escort her.
On the way, Rampai dragged her into the bushes, threatened to kill her with a panga if she screamed, and raped her. As she struggled to get to her feet, he struck her several times on her head and face with a panga. She sustained deep wounds on her head, face and private parts.
Rampai, who was visiting Makhanda from the Free State, was sentenced to life imprisonment for rape and 15 years imprisonment for attempted murder. The sentences will run concurrently.
Mthyobile said he was committed to seeking justice for victims of gender based violence.
“This sentence may not reverse this cruel incident, but I believe it will bring comfort and a certain degree of closure to the survivors and their families,” Mthyobile said. “My sincere gratitude to my team including the Director of Public Prosecutions for the amazing support and guidance throughout the investigation.”
Acting Judge Miki Mfenyana said, when handing down sentence, “The complainant was raped by the accused in circumstances where she thought she was safe in his company. He was supposed to be a friend and a safe escort and instead he attacked her in the most brutal way possible. She now bears physical, emotional and psychological scars which are likely to be lifelong.”
Ntshinga said the sentence served to send out a clear message to perpetrators of gender-based violence.
“The SAPS will continue to work unstintingly until justice is served for victims and survivors,” Ntshinga said. “I urge the community and the victims who have remained silent to become vocal and work with the entire criminal justice system to fight this scourge that is plaguing our society.”