Man sentenced to three life imprisonment

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A 35-year-old man was sentenced to three life imprisonment by Moretele magistrate court in Temba today. Benjamin Bapela was facing five counts of rape which were committed during 2013 and 2016.

Sergeant Herman Moremi of Corporate Communications SAPS Temba said Mr Bapela attacked the victims during the night around Suurman Village and Leboneng around Temba. One of the victims was attacked while sleeping at her place.

He said most of the victims are aged between 18 and 21.

The investigating officer Sergeant Khosana managed to identify the suspect through DNA and was arrested in 2017. The accused was facing six counts of rape but one of the victims withdrew charges against him leaving him to face only five counts of rape.

He was sentenced to ten years on the first count, fifteen years on the second count, and three life sentences on three counts. The sentence will run concurrently.

The station commander of Temba SAPS, Brigadier Martha Mokobori, said she is delighted to have a dedicated investigating officer like Sergeant Khosana at Temba SAPS who always removed criminals on the street and send them to jail for a long time.

Brigadier Mokobori ensured the community of Temba and Hammanskraal that the police will continue prioritizing cases of gender-based violence. She urged victims of gender-based violence not to withdraw cases because these violent cases can lead to a loss of life.