A notorious serial rapist, Malibongwe Ncokolo, has been sentenced to seven life terms and 300 years imprisonment by the Bisho High Court in Eastern Cape, South Africa. He was sentenced on Friday, November 6.
The 44-year-old Ncokolo, whose arrest on June 7, 2017, signalled an end of reign of terror for many girls and women in Mdantsane, is alleged to have been responsible for repeated rape onslaught with impunity since 2014 until his arrest in 2017.
His arrest came after he attempted to rape a 14-year-old girl on June 6, 2020. Much to his surprise, the strong and brave young girl managed to kick him with both feet on his chest and he rolled down a steep incline. The young girl managed to run and called for help.
The suspect was chased by a group of community members but managed to escape. A day after his lucky escape, he was apprehended by community members in his home. Police came just in time and arrested him. His buccal sample was taken and sent to Cape Town laboratory and he was linked to several rape cases around Mdantsane area.
His trial commenced in September 2020 with 140 witnesses and 22 victims and rape survivors. Despite overwhelming evidence presented against him, he still pleaded not guilty.
Some 12 of the 22 survivors were minors aged between 9 and 15. It is alleged that he monitored their movements from home to school and back from the local car wash where he was employed. He would then prey on them while they were passing a bushy uninhabited area on their way to school.
He was charged for 41 counts as follows;
1. Murder – 3 counts
2. Rape – 19 counts
3. Theft – 3 counts
4. Sexual assault – 3 counts
5. Assault to do grievous bodily harm – 9 counts
6. Assault – 4 counts
Judge Belinda Stretcher, who was presiding over the trial, sentenced Nokolo on November 3, 2020, at Bisho High court as follows:
• Count 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 Rape charges -20 years
• Count 9 Repeated rape- 25 years.
• Count 10 rape of 13-year-old
• Count 11 rape and murder-two life sentences taken as one
• Count 12 Rape – 20 years
• Count 14 Rape of 14-year-old minor
• Count 15 Rape – 20 years
• Count 18, 19, 20 & 21 where four minors were involved-life sentence
• Count 23 Rape of 13-year-old minor-life
• Count 25 Rape – 20 years
• Count 26 Rape of 11-year-old- life
• Count 30 & 32 Rape 20 years each
• Count 34 Theft five years
• Count 35 murder- 25 years
• Count 37 Murder – life
• Count 38 Rape – 20 years
• Count 39 Rape of 14-year-old minor-life
• Count 40 Theft -Five years
A statement issued by the Office of the Provincial Commissioner Eastern Cape, said the police detective’s good cooperation with prosecution and the courts resulted in the excellent arrest, successful conviction and sentencing by the judge.
The two detectives, who were responsible for the investigations, were also praised by senior police management.
Sgt Sizwe Gaika, attached to Provincial FCS (Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offenses investigation unit, an award-winning detective, who has meticulous attention to detail, was responsible for the arrest and investigation of all the rape and sexual offenses cases.
WO Phumelele Tile attached to Mdantsane SAPS detectives was responsible for investigation of three murder cases. Tile is an experienced detective with over 25 years investigation in murder and robbery environment. He was nominated as a detective of the year in 2018.
Acting Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Major General Thembisile Patekile, expressing his delight for the role played by detectives said:
“Both detectives’ co-operation and sterling work resulted in the successful prosecution of the accused. The courts undoubtedly convicted and sentenced the accused on the basis of sufficient evidence and quality investigation as well as great team effort between the High Court and prosecution,” he added.
The sentence will go down as one of the landmark sentences for one person in the province.