Neighbour prison rape girl

A neighbour from Mtohibistad in the Northern Cape will spend an effective 22 years in prison for the rape of a six-year-old girl. Image: Pixabay

Three men sentenced to life imprisonment and over 100 years

Three men have been sentenced to life imprisonment and over 100 years for the murder of a police constable in an armed robbery case

Neighbour prison rape girl

A neighbour from Mtohibistad in the Northern Cape will spend an effective 22 years in prison for the rape of a six-year-old girl. Image: Pixabay

On Friday 24 February 2023, three men aged between 35 and 53 were sentenced to two life imprisonments and over 100 years of direct imprisonment by the Regional Court in Thohoyandou.

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Three men sentenced to over 100 years

The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, welcomed the hefty sentences.

The three accused, Mahlasela Mkhabele (53), Fernando Mandlazi (35), and Santos Novela (44), were found guilty of murdering a Police Constable who had responded to an armed robbery on 6 March 2017.

According to the court, a group of suspects travelled from Thembisa in Gauteng Province to Makhuva village in Giyani using a Toyota Quantum.

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Suspects go on a robbing spree

The suspects went on a robbing spree, targeting two shops owned by foreign nationals and robbing them of cellphones, groceries, and cash.

Local police were alerted about the incident and began searching for the suspects.

The suspects’ vehicle was spotted on the road between Nsavulani and Shikhumba villages, and when police approached the Quantum, the suspects opened fire, killing Constable Mhangwani instantly.

A shootout ensued where one suspect was shot.

The other suspects evaded arrest by fleeing the scene on foot or speeding off in the said vehicle.

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The unidentified suspect succumbed to injuries on arrival at the hospital.

The driver, Mkhabele, was apprehended the next day with the assistance of community members while hiding in the bushes.

The other three suspects were also arrested in Sebayeng while driving towards Polokwane, and the getaway vehicle was seized.

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Police also recovered three firearms and ammunition during the arrest.

Police work hard at getting men sentenced

The cases were transferred to the Provincial Organised Crime Investigation and allocated to both Warrant Officer Khazamula Robert Chabalala and Sergeant Ian Mabasa, who did an outstanding job.

All three suspects were kept in custody throughout the trial proceedings.

The three accused were handed two life sentences each for two counts of murder and a collective more than one hundred years of imprisonment for attempted murders, robbery with aggravating circumstances, conspiracy to commit robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, as well as Contravention of the Immigration Act.

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They were all declared unfit to possess a firearm and ammunition.
Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe praised the investigating team for their sterling work, which resulted in the well-deserved sentences.

The fourth accused, Jaoguim Antonia Ngobeni (42), escaped from custody in 2019 and is still at large.

Police appeal to anyone who might have information about the suspect’s whereabouts to contact the nearest police station or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.