DURBAN: 29 June 2021– On 24 June 2021, the Inkanyezi Regional Court sentenced Sibongiseni Fano Gwala/Mthethwa (30) to three terms of life imprisonment for raping three pupils. He was also sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for a case of business robbery.
On 15 September 2018 at Mpaphala area in Mbongolwane, three girls aged 15 years were returning from school where they attended extra lessons for Mathematics. While they were walking back to their homesteads, they were apprehended by the accused. He forced them into the sugarcane plantation where they were threatened with a firearm and a knife. They were held in the sugarcane fields by the accused who raped them. The victims managed to flee and reported the matter to their parents. Charges of rape were opened at Mbongolwane SAPS. The docket was transferred to Eshowe Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit who took over the investigation.
On 15 December 2018, five men entered a bottle store at the same area in Mbongolwane and held up the owner. At gunpoint, they stole cash and alcohol before fleeing the scene. A shot was fired by the suspects but no injuries were sustained. A case of business robbery was opened at Mbongolwane SAPS. In January 2019, the accused was arrested and tried in court. He made several court appearances until his sentence. He was also declared unfit to possess a firearm. His name was also placed on the Sexual Offenders Register.