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Court sentences East Rand serial rapist to 384 years imprisonment

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After terrorising communities on Gauteng’s East Rand for four years, the Johannesburg High Court has sentenced serial rapist Lucky Simelane to 384 years imprisonment.

The 33-year-old Simelane, began his raping spree in 2010 until 2014. His victims, aged between 14 and 49, were raped in different areas including Alberton, Thokoza and Palm Ridge.

A simple trip to go buy food in Palm Ridge with her siblings turned into a nightmare for a young rape victim.

“At home, it is just the four of us; we do not have parents. It was too late for me to go buy groceries, so I took the twins to go buy Kota’s. That is where he found us and took out a gun,” says the victim.

With a T-shirt and jeans, hiding her teary face under a cap, Ntombi, not her real name, says she is the breadwinner in a child headed household.

Ntombi went to Spaza shop to buy Kota’s – a township filling meal made of bread, chips and palony amongst other ingredients.

But after ordering their food, they met with Simelane who spoke to them under the pretence of wanting some of their food.

However, instead of taking the piece that was offered to him, he showed the three sisters his gun.

“He showed us his gun and forced us to move to the nearby ground. It was the three of us. But one of my sisters told him she was pregnant. But he got aggressive and told her he would cut her open and kill her because he has been killing people for a long time. He then tied us up and started with the little one. He raped her while we were watching. When he was done, he ate our kotas, started chatting and went back to rape her again.”

Ntombi says she tried to fight while he was busy raping her 14-year-old sister, but he then tied the 14-year-old, and then raped her as well.

Unable to utter some of her words due to tears, Ntombi says this horrific incident has scarred her for life, and encouraged other rape victims to break the silence.

“If something bad happens please don’t hide it; come out and ask for help.”

The serial rapist has been sentenced to over 380 years in prison for several counts of rape with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and housebreaking with intent to rob.

He was also found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

In handing down the sentence, Judge John Horn said for over a period of approximately four years, Simelane terrorized the inhabitants on the East Rand by kidnapping some of the female victims and brutally raped them.

The assaults included striking the victims with a firearm or his bare hands, leaving them battered, bleeding and bruised.

The court says Simelane poses a real threat to society and the long term incarceration should serve to safeguard the community against his conduct.

The National Prosecuting Authorities’ (NPA) Phindi Louw has welcomed the sentence.

“We believe that the sentence could not have come at a perfect time whereas state institutions we are busy advocating against violence against women and children. We believe it is sentencing like this which will encourage us as state institutions to do more. It also shows that we are in the right direction of reducing the scourge of violence against women and children through sentences like this. We believe that violent crimes will be reduced, which is our main aim.”

Meanwhile, some of the victims say they will continue to seek counselling and hopefully, begin to heal, now that this serial rapist has been given a heavy sentence behind bars. —SABC News.

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