Government has welcomed the 20 life sentences and 758 years imprisonment handed down to serial rapist and home burglar Bongani Lucky Masuku.
Masuku was part of a gang who raped women and girls while assaulting and robbing other relatives when they embarked on a spree of burglaries over a period of eight years.
“The sentence sends a strong message to all those who may be involved in incidents of rape and sexual assault that indeed crime does not pay and that there are severe consequences for inflicting pain on women,” said Acting GCIS Director General Phumla Williams.
The sentence comes a week after the North Gauteng High Court sentenced another convicted rapist Nicholas Ninow to life imprisonment for raping a 7-year-old child.
“These sentences show us that violence against women has no place in our society and the full might of the law will prevail. Every citizen must make their voice heard against the issue of rape and abuse, and in particular when a perpetrator is brought to book.
“Crimes against women and children will no longer be tolerated as law enforcement agencies are working around the clock to ensure justice for victims is served,” said Williams.
The sentences come as government works to strengthen the fight against the scourge of violence against women and children.
In line with this, in September President Ramaphosa proposed a range of legal and regulatory reforms to Parliament to strengthen the response of the State to gender-based violence and to ensure that all crimes against women and children attract harsher minimum sentences.
“We commend the police and the judicial system for their tireless efforts in ensuring that justice has been served in this case and that this man is removed from society for the rest of his life,” added Williams.
Through imposing harsh sentences and ensuring that perpetrators of rape don’t get bail, government expressed its happiness that the judiciary is supporting the national effort to end gender-based violence to ensure abusers, rapists and murderers know that they will be caught and punished.
“Government remains firm that the State should oppose bail for suspects charged with the rape and murder of women and children and those who are found guilty of such crimes should not be eligible for parole,” said Williams.
Meanwhile, government remains committed to providing post-rape care for victims and encourages victims of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) to make use of the services offered by the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre.
The centre operates 24 hours, 365 days a year. Victims can call 0800 428 428 or send a please call me on *120*7867# or log onto the website www.gbv.org.za. – SAnews.gov.za