15 June 2017

South Africa: Accused Sentenced to Life Imprisonment and 18 Years for Rape

press release

On 13 June 2017, Durban High Court convicted and sentenced Sipho Bhekinkosi Shandu (38) to life imprisonment and 18 years imprisonment for raping three victims aged between 19 and 33. On 26 May 2012, a 19-year-old victim was at her home at Sundumbili when she was approached by the accused who forcefully entered her room and dragged her to the nearby sugarcane field where he raped her. The matter was reported to Sundumbili police. The second victim, a 17-year-old woman was at her home in Samungu area, Eshowe on 27 May 2012 at 19:00 when she was approached by the accused who forcefully dragged her out of her room and raped her in the nearby sugarcane field. He threatened to burn her with petrol but the victim managed to flee the scene. The case was reported to Eshowe police.

The third incident, on 5 June 2012, a 33-year-old victim was at Mount Moriah, Phoenix at 12:00 when she was raped by the accused. The case was reported to Durban Central police and Durban Central Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit took over the investigation. On 14 May 2013, the accused was arrested by Durban Central detectives at Eshowe area and was detained at Durban Central. He appeared in Durban Magistrates' Court on 15 May 2013 and bail was opposed. Through DNA, he was linked to Sundumbili and Eshowe incidents. He appeared in court several times until he was sentenced and convicted by the Durban High Court. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for Sundumbili case, 10 years for Durban Central case and 8 years for Eshowe case which will run concurrently.

The KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa commended detectives for their good investigation that led to the conviction of the accused. "I would like to praise our detectives for gathering full evidence and brought it to court which led to the successful prosecution of the accused. I welcome the sentence handed down to the accused and we hope that it will send a strong message to other rapists that the long arm of law will catch you whenever and wherever you are" he said.

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