21 March 2019

South Africa: Mpumalanga Provincial Commissioner Welcomes Hefty Sentences

press release

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma welcomed hefty sentences passed by the Circuit of the North Gauteng High Court sitting at Delmas, wherein a 37-year-old man was sentenced to 12 life sentences and an additional 194 years. These harsh sentences are for a string of charges that Smanga "Balaclava" Gwebu committed, ranging from rape, housebreaking, Contravening of Section 21(2) of the Sexual Offences Act, robbery with aggravating circumstances and pointing of firearm.

The accused undertook his reign of terror over a period of 10 years, spanning from 2004 to 2014, where he terrorised the people of Vosman, near Witbank

The court heard how Gwebu would break into his victims' houses at night, threaten them with a knife or firearm and some raped in front of their families, and sometimes rob them of their belongings.

The support of forensic experts played a crucial role by putting together all relevant evidence that saw Gwebu being linked to other crimes he committed as well. Gwebu vehemently denied his horrendous acts hence he pleaded not guilty however, the astute team comprising of the witnesses, National Prosecuting Authority, Police, Judiciary as well as the Forensics knitted all particles of evidence and proved beyond reasonable doubt that indeed Gwebu is found guilty.

The Provincial Commissioner added that people are not free in their lives and homes due to problematic people such as Gwebu. He said that the police will work relentlessly in making sure that such people are removed from society so that law-abiding citizens may benefit from the fruits of the constitution of this country. He further applauded the good work by the versatile team for arriving at the guilty verdict and meting out the hefty sentences.

"I have no doubt in my mind that the sentences will serve as a deterrent to other would be criminals", said General Zuma.

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