Namakgale serial rapist who was targeting hitchhikers sentenced to 20 years imprisonment


By Staff Reporter

POLOKWANE-A serial rapist from Namakgale has been sentenced to 20 years of direct imprisonment for raping hitchhikers between 2018 and 2021 in the Polokwane High Court.

Lucky Kgahledi Raphela, 44, from Malungane Village, Namakgale under Baphalaborwa municipality was convicted on four counts of rape.

He pleaded guilty to all charges.

In his plea agreement with the State, he told the court he perpetrated his crimes between January 16, 2018, and November 7, 2021, in Phalaborwa.

Raphela said he targeted his victims by offering them a lift on a public road as they were hitchhiking.

He would then drive to nearby bushes, threaten them with a knife before raping them.

The court heard that Raphela was linked through DNA evidence in all cases.

During arguments in aggravation of sentencing, State Prosecutor Advocate Muneiwa Ratshibvumo submitted Raphela had a previous conviction of escaping lawful custody and this showed how dangerous he was.

She further submitted the victims were women who needed to be protected against the conduct of men who behaved in a barbaric manner and threatened women like Raphela had done.

Ratshibvumo further submitted that rape in South Africa remained prevalent and the victims in this matter suffered emotional and undue mental stress due to the crime committed.

The court sentenced Raphela to 10 years each for the four counts of rape.

The spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Limpopo, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said counts one and two were ordered to run concurrently, as well as counts three and four.

“The effective period of imprisonment that the accused should serve is, therefore, 20 years of direct imprisonment,” Malabi-Dzhangi said.

“The NPA is pleased with the good work done by Advocate Ratshibvumo and investigating officer Captain Masangu Mbedzi from Phalaborwa Family Violence and Child Protection (FCS) Unit, we hope that perpetrators of such crimes will learn from the sentence.”

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