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Serial rapist: 33-year-old man handed 10 life sentences for reign of terror

Justice has been served after a serial rapist, who terrorised women in Vryheid, was handed 10 life sentences.


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A serial rapist who terrorised women in Vryheid for eight years, before his arrest in 2018, received 10 life sentences for rape and a further 59 years for other crimes.

Ntokozo Calvin Thabethe, 33, was sentenced at the Madadeni High Court in Vryheid on 11 June 2021. The 59 years imprisonment dished out to him was on charges of rape; burglary and theft.

During the course of his trial, the court heard how Thabethe pounced on defenceless women who left home for work in the early hours of the morning. He also preyed on the elderly and women walking alone.

“The accused [convict] would drag his victims to secluded areas where he would rape them repeatedly,” .

Police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala

“He was positively linked to ten charges of rape, robbery, burglary and theft. A well-prepared docket was presented in court and a successful conviction and sentence was secured,” said Gwala.


Several cases reported to police over the years, were heard before the court, painting a ruthless picture.

On 26 April 2011, a 49-year-old victim in the Vryheid area needed to relieve herself. While busy in nearby bushes, she was attacked by Thabethe, who demanded money and raped her.

In another incident on 18 May 2015, a woman was on her way to work when she was accosted by Thabethe. He dragged the 33-year-old woman into the bushes and raped her. He bound her with grass and left her on the ground. She survived to relay details of her ordeal.

Thabethe’s reign of terror was reported to police since 2010. Investigations by the Vryheid Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit eventually paid off in 2018 when the serial rapist was arrested.

Gwala commended the investigator who had scant information to go on, yet solved the serial rapist case.

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