On 17 January 2020, Sibusiso Phillip Gumede (29) appeared in court and was convicted and sentenced to four life terms imprisonment for four counts of rape and sixteen years imprisonment for two count of robbery. When the Empangeni Regional Court heard how Gumede sexually violated women and men in the Mpangeni and surrounding areas, the court didn't think twice and gave Gumede a suitable sentence for his dirty deeds.
On 17 January 2020, Gumede appeared in court and was convicted and sentenced to four life terms imprisonment for four counts of rape and 16 years imprisonment for two counts of robbery.
On 22 February 2018 at 05:00, an18-year-old male victim from Gobandlovu Reserve was at Maholoholo Forest waiting for transport to school when he was approached by the accused who grabbed and pulled him to the forest, assaulted and raped him. He took the victim's money, and he fell asleep, the victim got the chance to escape and seek assistance. The matter was reported at Esikhaleni police station for investigation and the docket was transferred to Empangeni FCS for further investigation.
The second incident took place on 1 April 2018 at about 01:30 where a 42-year-old victim was walking alone from Ninela to Esikhaleni Township when she came across the accused who threatened her with a knife and assaulted her. He pulled her to the ground and raped her. He robbed her and fled the scene on foot. The victim managed to run to a nearby homestead for assistance. The police were called out to the scene and a case of rape was opened at Esikhaleni for investigation.
The third incident took place on 28 July 2018, at 12:00, where the victim (25) was coming from the Mall and she took a taxi from Esikhaleni and she alighted on the N2. While walking along the sugarcane plantation at the accused drew his knife, threatened and pulled her to the sugarcane plantation where he raped her repeatedly. The accused released the victim at 18h00 and she managed to report the matter to Empangeni police station. All the three cases were investigated by Empangeni Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS).
The investigating officer followed up on the information and established that the accused was arrested at Esikhaleni Police station, where it is alleged that he attempted to rape a women who was jogging. The identification parade was conducted and he was positively identified by the victims and he was linked to all the cases.
The accused made several appearances in court until he was convicted and sentenced as follows:-
Count 1- Rape: Life imprisonment
Count 2- rape: life imprisonment
Count 3- Robbery: 8 years imprisonment
Count 4- Rape: life imprisonment
Count 5- Robbery: 8 years imprisonment
Count 6- Rape: life imprisonment
The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula has commended detectives at the Empangeni Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for their role in ensuring that the accused is prosecuted. "It is very comforting to know that this perpetrator is behind bars where he belongs. The sentence meted out to him by the court sends a clear message that crimes against our women will not be tolerated," he said.