East London man sentenced to one life term for rape and eighteen years for housebreaking and theft

JANUARY 27, 2015

East London SAPS on Tuesday welcomed a lengthy sentence meted for a rape case which took place in Bebelele Street at Duncan Village in East London on the 04 August 2013. During the incident, a 59-year-old victim was assaulted and raped in her shack in the early hours of that morning.

The accused, Sive Rweqane (30) was found guilty on three counts- Housebreaking, rape and theft. He was sentenced in the East London High Court on the 23 January 2015 as follows:

  1. Housebreaking – 3 years imprisonment
  2. Rape -1 life term imprisonment
  3. Theft -15 years in imprisonment

This sentence followed after an unknown suspect gained access in the victim’s house by kicking down the door and entering without permission.  Once inside, the suspect drew out a knife, assaulted the victim and allegedly raped her. He threatened to hurt her if she called for help. After committing the assault and rape, the suspect left the scene.

The victim called for help from her neighbours who assisted her to go to report the incident to the police station and also opened a case. She was immediately taken to Frere Hospital for medical examination and other necessary examinations.

The investigating officer attached to the East London Family Violence, Child and Sexual Offences Unit, who handled the case kept in constant contact with the victim at all times. He also learnt that the victim was not able to identify the suspect from his facial appearance, but she could remember the clothing that he was wearing at the time of the incident.

This left the investigating officer with a huge task in trying to trace the suspect and linking him to the crime.

On 09 August 2013, at about 12:15, Duncan Village SAPS were called to attend to a complaint where the community apprehended a man and were assaulting him at Ford Street.

When police arrived on the scene and intervened, they were told by the community members that the man apprehended was allegedly involved in a rape case on 04 August 2013 in Bebelele Street in Duncan Village.

The community then handed the suspect over to the Police and the complainant confirmed that she was the victim and identified and recognized the jacket and shoes of suspect as those that were worn on the date of the rape incident. Police then arrested the suspect and he was taken to hospital for medical treatment as he sustained injuries of a serious nature.

When the investigating officer heard about the arrest he immediately went to the suspect and obtained DNA samples that were sent to the Forensic Laboratory for analysis. The suspect appeared at the East London Magistrates’ Court for the first time and the case was set to continue on a later date to allow time for further investigations.

Once the forensic report was brought back, the results positively matched that of the accused.  The accused pleaded guilty on 14 October 2014, as evidence from the forensic laboratory was overwhelming against him.

Police welcome the sentence and hope it would deter would be perpetrators from committing similar offences.