Eastern Cape courts hand out 10 life sentences and 681 years imprisonment in May alone

JUNE 11, 2015

Ten life sentences and 681 years of imprisonment were handed down to rape and sexual offences suspects in various parts of the Eastern Cape during May 2015. Amongst the convicted were Duran Thomas, Lee-Roy Joseph, Phaphama Xala and many more others.

On 15 June 2014, Duraan Thomas, 29, and his accomplices Lee-Roy Joseph, 23, and a 15-year-old minor raped a 20-year-old female and sexually assaulted a 23-year-old male in one incident near the cemetery in Bethelsdorp, Port Elizabeth.

The victims were walking near the Bethelsdorp Cemetery at about 05:00 in the morning when they were approached by the suspects, who searched the victims for any valuables and when they found nothing on them, they raped and sexually assaulted both victims at knife point in a nearby bushy area.

The victims reported the incident to Bethelsdorp SAPS and a rape case was opened including a charge of attempted robbery and kidnapping.  

The swift response and excellent investigation of the Bethelsdorp Detective led to the arrest of the suspects, 24 hours after the incident was reported.

The suspects appeared in the Port Elizabeth High Court several times until they were convicted and sentenced to four life sentences for rape, three years for attempted robbery and kidnapping. The minor, who also pleaded guilty to all the charges is awaiting judgement on Thursday.  

In a separate incident, a 16-year-old victim was raped by Phaphama Xala (25) at Ilitha township near Butterworth on 25 December 2014. The suspect was arrested few days after the incident and appeared in the Butterworth Regional Court several times until he was convicted and sentenced to twenty (20) years imprisonment. 

The Eastern Cape Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Zamuthango Mki commended FCS Detectives for thoroughly investigating the cases and presenting well prepared dockets which led to the successful prosecution of the rapists. 

“Credit must go to the Detective Officers whose hard work and attention to detail played a crucial role in securing such hefty sentences. In the same light, we hope that the victims and their families will derive strength from the fact that those who inflicted such painful experience in their lives, have been jailed for a long time” said Major General Mki.