NELSPRUIT – The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, has welcomed the sentencing passed by the High Court Division of Mpumalanga sitting in Delmas, where 35-year-old, Sipho Samson Oneman Masombuka was sentenced to 8 life sentences plus 553 years imprisonment today, 23 January 2020, after being found guilty on 70 counts, including rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping and pointing of firearm that he committed between 2008 and 2018 in the areas of Kwaggafontein, Siyabuswa, Dennilton and the surrounding areas.

When handing down the sentence, Judge Neliswa Mali, said that the accused was heartless as he went on insulting his victims in terms of their bodies and personality. Judge Mali further emphasised that women are not safe whilst people like Masombuka are out in the streets. She concluded that the community will be free after he (Masombuka) is removed from the society.

The Court heard how Masombuka was terrorising vulnerable women aged between 16 and 40 at that time in their homes. The vicious Masombuka, who was mostly armed with a firearm, would attack his victims on the streets, robbed them of their belongings including cellphones, and often kidnapped them. This man who acted like a predator, would at times break into the homes of his victims whilst they were asleep. He (Masombuka) would then threatened these victims with a firearm and take their belongings before raping them. Scores of cases were opened by the victims and in most of the cases one would discover that suspects were unknown. The police investigation team worked very hard to close the net of this maniac. The man was finally arrested by police and linked through DNA. Detectives knitted their case to be water tight so that there is no loophole left for Masombuka. The evidence before court was so overwhelming and led to Masombuka being found guilty of the charges levelled against him.

In welcoming the sentence, the Provincial Commissioner also admired the investigation team under the Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit in Kwamhlanga as well as the prosecuting authority and the Judiciary for their excellent work in ensuring that justice triumphed. “Words cannot really express my appreciation to the outstanding work done by the investigation team which led to the subsequent conviction and sentencing of the accused. This is an indication that SAPS is determined and committed to decisively deal with those rotten elements that commit gender-based violence. I believe that the sentence will serve as a deterrence to the would-be rapists, said General Zuma.

“The sentencing of this perpetrator of rape crimes has once again proven that the FCS Unit, as one of the structures that has been put in place to address gender-based violence, is making strides in working towards the goal of insuring that women in our society are and feel safe, added General Zuma.

Police continue to appeal to anyone who may have information on crime to contact our SAPS Crime Stop number 086 00 10111. People are also encouraged to download the MySAPSApp on an iPhone or Android. This App will allow users to provide tip-offs among others. These mediums will allow callers to remain anonymous and all information will be treated with strictest confidence.

Source: South African Police Service