Serial rapist Eric Sello Sebothoma sentenced to 25 years in jail for raping three women including 10 year girl

CRIME

By Agreement Mabunda

POLOKWANE-On the 20th March 2024, the Polokwane High Court sentenced 31-year-old Eric Sello Sebothoma already serving jail terms for previous offences to substantial additional sentences for two counts of attempted rape and four counts of rape.

The conviction stems from a series of heinous crimes that took place between 2012 and 2017, targeting vulnerable women and young girls between the ages of 10 and 31.

The court heard how the accused terrorized the community of Dennilton in Sekhukhune district using the same modus operandi. He would break into the victims’ houses during the night, threaten them with a knife, and rape them. The accused also robbed some of the victims of their valuables.

In one of the incidents that took place on 29 June 2013, a ten-year-old girl was sleeping with her seven-year-old cousin on the same bed when an intruder tried to strangle her.The accused threatened both children with a knife before raping the victim. He thereafter informed the victim that she should not worry because he used protection.

The cases were investigated by Sergeant Pebetse Maile of Groblersdal FCS Unit. The accused was finally linked to the cases and arrested in 2020.

At the time of arrest, the accused was already convicted and sentenced to 29 years imprisonment on counts of rape and house breaking committed in Gauteng province.

Despite already serving sentences for unrelated crimes, the Polokwane  High Court sentenced the accused to 25 years imprisonment, highlighting the severity of the crimes and its dedication to upholding the rights and dignity of the survivors and sexual offences.

The sentences were passed as follows:

Count 03- Attempted Rape: Eight years- imprisonment

Count 05- Attempted Rape: Eight years imprisonment

Count 08- Rape: Twenty-five (25) years Imprisonment

Count 11- Rape: Ten (10) years Imprisonment

Count 14- Rape: Ten (10) years imprisonment

Count 16- Rape: Twenty-five (25) years imprisonment.

The court ordered that sentences in counts, 03,05,08,11, and 14, run concurrently with the sentence in count 16. The court further ordered that the 25 years imprisonment run concurrently with the sentence of 29 years, which the accused is currently serving.

“We hope this sentencing sends a clear message that the SAPS, together with the judicial system, will not rest until individuals who prey on the most vulnerable members of our society are brought to justice,” said Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Hadebe

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