'Hitchhiking' Limpopo rapists given life sentences

16 July 2019 - 17:06 By Nico Gous
The Polokwane high court on Tuesday handed out hefty sentences to men accused of rape, kidnap and theft.
The Polokwane high court on Tuesday handed out hefty sentences to men accused of rape, kidnap and theft.
Image: Gallo Images/ IStock. File photo.

The Polokwane high court sentenced two men on Friday for raping two women in 2017.

The police had arrested four suspects in their 30s for rape, kidnapping and robbery.

Police spokesperson Const Mienkie Ramakgoakgoa said that on May 15 2017 about 8pm, the suspects raped two women aged 23 and 31 near the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane after they had hitchhiked to Mankweng.

"Two of the four accused initially stood among the hitchhikers at the said hiking spot, pretending to be hitchhiking, when the other two arrived in a white Volkswagen Golf Velocity and picked up their accomplices and the two women," Ramakgoakgoa said.

"On the way, the driver turned towards Flora Park. One of the accused produced a firearm and the driver drove to a secluded spot next to the N1 highway." 

The suspects stole the women's handbags, cellphones, bank cards and cash. Two of the suspects then left to withdraw money from the women's bank accounts. Meanwhile, the other two suspects raped the women.

"Thereafter the victims were dropped at a bushy area in the Westenburg area on the outskirts of Polokwane where they managed to get help," Ramakgoakgoa said.

The court handed down these sentences:

  • Phuti James Matlamela, 33, and Mathews Matsobane Kgobe, 32, were sentenced to life in prison for rape, 15 years for robbery and five years for kidnapping;
  • John Mogata Letsoalo, 38, was sentenced to two years for theft which was suspended for three years; and
  • the fourth suspect turned state witness.

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