NELSPRUIT – The Pretoria High Court handed down hefty jail sentences to two accused who had been terrorising the community of Siyabuswa and surrounding villages between 2012 and 2014.
The accused, Joel Matlala (29) and Vincent Mahlangu (30) were sentenced yesterday at the High Court after the Judge heard his they have terrorized the community. Matlala was confirmed as the mastermind behind all the incidents and was positively linked to 22 rape cases.
Matlala targeted women who were walking alone during the night coming from church, work and others from visiting relatives. He would threaten the victims with a firearm and then rape them repeatedly. In some of the cases, he would call his co-accused, Mahlangu, when he (Matlala) had kidnapped a woman then the duo would take turns raping the victim. Most of the victims were raped after Matlala had been released on bail for a similar case. He was rearrested on 10 March 2015 and was denied bail until his sentencing. Mahlangu was also arrested, formally charged and sentenced on three rape cases. Matlala was sentenced to 22 life terms imprisonment which will run concurrently whilst Mahlangu was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for each count of rape which will also run concurrently.
The police management in the province welcomed the harsh sentences and they believe that these sentences will serve as a deterrent to other potential offenders. They also commended the Investigating Officer for working hard and tirelessly in securing these sentences as well as the High Court.