NATIONAL NEWS - A Limpopo magistrate’s court has given a 27-year-old man two life sentences for raping a 34-year-old mentally handicapped woman three years ago and an 18-year-old woman two years ago. The man, Mahlatsi Berry Baloyi, 27, was sentenced on Tuesday by the Molemole Regional Court outside Polokwane in Limpopo.
Limpopo police spokesperson, Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, said the accused committed these barbaric acts at Chabelang village in the Sekgosese policing area outside Giyani. He said the first incident happened on 24 July 2017 after the accused raped a 34-year-old mentally disabled woman who was walking home from the local shopping complex, few kilometers from her residence.
“Baloyi threatened the victim with a knife, dragged her to the nearby bushes and raped her before he fled the scene. The second incident took place on 04 August 2018 when the accused continued with his evil acts. He threatened an 18-year-old girl with a knife and raped her before he fled the scene.
“These incidents were assigned to Detective Warrant Officer Manganyi attached to the Saps Giyani Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual offences (FCS) Unit for further investigations. Through his hard work and meticulous investigations, the accused was traced, arrested and positively linked to these two rape cases,” said Ngoepe.
The provincial commissioner of the South African police service in Limpopo Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has welcomed these sentences with both hands and also applauded the investigating officer for acquiring such long jail terms which will serve as a deterrent to all the rapists and the rapists-to-be, that crime does not pay.
In another incident, police arrested a middle-aged man for allegedly raping 3-year-old children. The suspect was arrested following an incident that occurred on 06 August 2020 at about 15h30, at a village near Lenyenye outside Tzaneen. The two children had allegedly went to fetch water from a narrow stream, not far from their home when they met an unknown man wearing blue work suits.
The man allegedly threatened them with a sharp object and raped them. The incidents sent shockwaves throughout the province with social development MEC Nkakareng Rakgoale left baffled and shocked. Rakgoale has since appealed to parents and general community members to be vigilant and ensure that children are safe at all times.
“This is after a toddler was allegedly raped by her half- brother at Mashobye village outside Malamulele. Police say the three-year old child was playing with her friends and she was later found in her brother’s room.
“What has happened at Mashobye village is very disgusting and inhumane as the toddler was allegedly assaulted and violated by her own family member who is supposed to protect her. We have dispatched our social workers to the family to ensure that we give all the necessary support to the victim and all affected parties.
“We urge our communities to be always vigilant and always know the whereabouts of their children. As the Department of Social Development we also offer family preservation and parenting programme that might assist people in how to create a safer environment for the protection of the vulnerable groups of our society.
“We will help to prepare the family so that they can be able to stand in court to testify against the suspect as we do have a facility to detain minors who are in conflict with the law and rehabilitate them,” said MEC Rakgoale.