Police in Gauteng have welcomed the heavy sentences handed down to three infamous taxi rape suspects, who unleashed terror across Johannesburg in 2017.
Lungile Nkambule, Welile Mazwi and Gift Lebogang Mokoena were each sentenced to over 20 years at the Booysens Magistrate Court on Tuesday.
In November 2018, serial rapist Lebogang Mokoena was sentenced to 13 life terms and 340 years imprisonment for other cases committed in Booysens, Meadowlands, Kliptown, Johannesburg Central, Rosebank and Alberton.
“Criminal proceedings are still continuing in other cases against Mazwi, who was nabbed through CCTV while using the victim’s bank card in a Florida rape case,” said police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini in a statement.
Dlamini said investigations into the taxi rape cases were escalated to provincial level after it was established that there was a high prevalence of serial rapes and most of the victims were raped by taxi drivers.
“Twenty-six cases had been registered at the time. There were also similarities regarding the incidents of rape, kidnappings and robbery of the victims’ valuable goods. This is where it became clear that serial rapists were involved. The suspects were arrested through forensic evidence, identification parades, identification of victims’ properties and information received from members of the community,” said Dlamini.
Nothile Dlamini and Tsepo Masiya are already serving their sentences after they were both sentenced to more than 60 years imprisonment during May and November 2018. Manqoba Ntsika Mdluli, Sphiwe Dlamini and Gerald Vusi Hlatshwaya are still on trial.