The Mhala Magistrate Court served Douglas Mogakane’s co-accused, David Pako, and Joel Ndlovu with life sentences on Wednesday, August 15th, 2018. Pako was found guilty on two counts of rape and six counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances and was sentenced to 10 years plus life imprisonment, and 15 years (each) for the 6 robbery charges which will run concurrently.
Ndlovu was also served with a life sentence plus 15 years for rape and two charges of robberies with aggravating circumstances. The other two, Reuben Mathebula & Sandile Matsane were each sentenced to 22 years imprisonment effectively for their two counts of robbery (with aggravated circumstances) each.
The four men are convicted after committing these crimes with their co-accused, Douglas Mogakane, who was sentenced to 96 years imprisonment in 2016. They have been in custody since 2011, and the court did take into consideration the time they’ve already spent in trial after the defense lawyer argued that 80% of the delays were caused by the state. “The length of awaiting trial in custody should be considered and counted as twice the time that should be served in prison due to the harsher conditions they’ve been subjected to in custody,” defense lawyer Advocate Hlungwani argued.
The Magistrate, though, also argued, saying that they deserve severe sentences. “The community at large expects the court to harshly punish sex offenders and robbers. The crimes they have committed are very serious, and the court should shout to the community at large that crime, especially rape is unacceptable.” Magistrate Theron said. “You are clearly a danger to society, you carefully chose your victims and acted in common purpose,” Magistrate Theron added.
It was also mentioned that Pako and Mogakane were the ringleaders in the series of crimes leading to the watertight case which has been ongoing for the past seven years, which also included 30 state witnesses, including victims of the perpetrators, police officials, social workers, and others.
Acornhoek Cluster Commander, Major General Diana Mashele says she appreciated the sterling work done by the investigating team and hope that the sentences will serve as a lesson to other criminals.
The sentenced men will again appear in court again later this year in November for other cases.