Pretoria, 26 April 2021: The Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigations (FCS) Detectives Component’s dedication and commitment in preventing, combating and investigating sexual offence related crimes in South Africa continues to bear fruit. The successful prosecution and 356 life imprisonment sentences handed down to 266 sexual offences perpetrators in the past year bears testament to this.
Daily, members of the specialized unit charged with the responsibility of putting perpetrators of crimes against women, children and vulnerable groups behind bars, continue to make inroads by working tirelessly to apprehend these callous and dangerous perpetrators.
While the conviction of 1733 accused will not bring back those who died at the hands of their perpetrators or erase the memories that still haunt survivors of these crimes, these convictions are a step in the right direction in arresting such forms of criminality in society.
These convictions will ensure that sexual offences perpetrators will no longer roam the streets of South Africa freely, terrorising people on all levels of society, especially our children.
The Component which was re-established in 2010 boasts 176 units across the country with 9 Serial and Electronic Crime Investigation Units.
These units comprise of dedicated members who more than often go beyond the call of duty in apprehending those responsible for sexual offences related crimes, and person directed crimes under the age of 18.
These detectives are also charged with the responsibility of investigating electronic media facilitated crimes such as online child sexual exploitation.
While its sole purpose and mandate is to ensure the effective, efficient prevention, investigation of FCS-related crimes, bringing closure to victims of GBV and their families remains at the heart of the unit’s existence.
With this said, it is thus befitting to commend and express the organisations appreciation to these men and women in blue for ensuring the conviction of these notorious criminals. With the hefty life sentences handed down to them, the possibility of them harassing and victimising society again are now reduced to zero.
To the detectives who often work long hours in investigating these crimes, we say thank you. Your hard work and persistence under often difficult circumstances does not go unnoticed.
The SAPS acknowledges the extra hours you have put in and the sacrifices you made while spending time away from your families to ensure that the communities you serve are and feel safe.
More than often, your hard work and dedication in bringing these perpetrators to book, often goes unnoticed. The SAPS therefore takes this opportunity to remind each one of you of your relentless efforts by providing highlights per province of the year’s successes in the conviction of crimes perpetrated against women, children and vulnerable groups.
It is worth noting that the successes achieved would not have been possible without the participation, cooperation and assistance of Departments within the Criminal Justice System. The Department of Social Development (DSD) is hereby acknowledged for the role it played in counselling victims and as well as the placement of victims that were in need of shelter. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) also ought to be appreciated for ensuring justice for the victims of crime by prosecuting without fear, favour and prejudice. The community and NGOS who supported the Investigations.
To the communities we serve, we hope that you recognize our efforts and endeavours in the fight against crime.
To the potential perpetrators of gender based violence, the National Component Head: FCS: Major General Linda sends a strong warning that it’s not if they get caught but it’s a matter of when they get caught.
The National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Khehla John Sitole has also praised these members for their commitment in the fight against FCS related crimes.
” I commend each one of you for ensuring justice for victims of these heinous crimes. While these convictions wont bring back those we lost, we hope that these life sentences will serve as a deterrent to those who continue to take advantage of our innocent women, children and vulnerable groups. To our dedicated members, the work that you do is high commendable and on behalf of our men and women in blue, I salute all of you and urge you to continue with the extraordinary work that you do in ensuring that together we build safer communities”, said General KJ Sitole.
In the past year the following successes were achieved:
· 356 life imprisonment sentences were handed down to 266 accused
· 5008 twenty year sentences were handed down to 189 accused
· 487 accused were handed down 8166 sentences ranging from 10 to 19 years imprisonment sentence.
· 791 accused were handed down 3717 sentences ranging from 1 to 9 years imprisonment sentence.
In the Western Cape, a 29-year-old step father was handed down one life sentence by the Kensington Magistrates Court for the rape and murder of his step son. The deceased victim was a year old at the time when he was raped and severely assaulted with a brick, before succumbing to his injuries. The step-father was successfully linked through DNA sample to the rape and murder. He was convicted on the 31st of August 2020.
In Limpopo, 34-year-old Moswathupa Nkgogeletse was handed down a life sentence by the Polokwane High Court for the rape of an infant. At the time of the ordeal, the deceased victim was a year old. It’s believed that the perpetrator lured the victim to a nearby bush with candy where he raped and killed the minor. The unknown man to the victim was successfully linked to the crime through investigation and DNA samples.
In Mpumalanga, a 44-year-old father was handed down two life sentences for the rape of his two children aged 7 and 11 by the Nelspruit High Court on the 25th of August 2020. The rape incidents occurred between 6 June 2017 and 22 August 2017. The mother of the two children was also sentenced to five years imprisonment for failing to report the abuse to authorities. The pair were arrested after a teacher at both children’s school reported the matter to police after one of the children confessed to the abuse.
In the North West, a 59-year-old step father was handed down one life sentence for the rape of his six-year-old step daughter. The rape occurred at the home of both the victim and perpetrator on the evening of the 1st December 2018. The man was convicted on the 18th of August 2020 by the Jourbeton Magistrates Court.
In the Eastern Cape, 32-year-old Tashuma Bambore was handed down a life imprisonment sentence on the 22nd September 2020 for the rape of a five-year-old girl. At the time of the incident, the mother of the minor had sent the girl to a nearby Spaza shop. On the way, she was dragged by the perpetrator to his rented room and raped. The mother of the child went looking for the minor after noticing that the girl was taking longer than expected. On her way, she came across a member of the community who explained that she saw the girl walking out from the perpetrators room. The mother of the child opened a case at the local police station where a DNA sample successfully linked the rape to the man.
In the Free State, 47-year-old Petrus Molefi was handed down a life imprisonment sentence by the Bloemfontein High Court for the rape of a 16-year-old mentally challenged girl.
In the Northern Cape, 29-year-old Steven Visagie was handed down three life sentences by the Kimberly Magistrates Court on the 21st of June 2020. Visagie was found guilty of rape, assault (GBH), robbery and kidnapping of 14 women in the Kimberly area. During his reign of terror that began in 2014 and ended in 2017 when he was arrested, he would lure his victims with a knife into a bushy area and rape them repeatedly, sometimes with a co-perpetrator. His youngest victim was 17 years old, with the eldest being 39 years of age at the time of the incident. DNA samples successfully linked Visagie to all 14 cases reported in the Galeshwe, Kagisho and Kimberly policing precincts.
In Kwa-Zulu Natal, 44-year-old Phumelani Mazibuko was handed down 155 years of imprisonment for five counts of rape by the Estcourt Magistrates Court on the 14th of April 2020. Mazibuko had been terrorising children and women in the Estcourt area since 2003. He’s youngest victim was only nine years of age at the time of the incident. Mazibuko would forcefully take victims unknown to him from their homes by threatening them with a firearm. Victims would then be dragged to a secluded area where he would rape them repeatedly.
In Gauteng, 30-year-old Mpho Radebe was handed down five life imprisonment sentences by the Vereeniging Magistrates Court for the rape of five women in the Lenasia and Orange Farm areas. The crimes committed took place between 2013 and 2015. According to all his victims, the suspect was an unknown person who managed to overpower them in an open veld where he would rape them either at gun or knife point.