The KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa welcomed the sentence handed down to the Osizweni rapist. “I further commend the Newcastle Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit for thoroughly investigating this case which involved young children. This will serve as a strong warning to those who abuse women and children in our province. I encourage the victims of abuse to break the silence and report such cases to the police”, he said.
The accused, Sithembiso Ishmael Kunene (24) was convicted and sentenced by the Madadeni Regional Court yesterday, 27 June 2017 to life sentence for rape, housebreaking and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. He was sentenced after he was positively linked to the crimes by DNA evidence. He was sentenced to life sentence for raping an eleven-year-old victim, life sentence for raping a 17-year-old victim, 10 years for assaulting a 13-year-old boy and a further three years for housebreaking. The sentences will run concurrently meaning that he will serve only one life term in prison.
On 17 July 2011 at 03:45, four minor victims aged between five and 17 years were sleeping in the house at Mdozo area at Osizweni near Newcastle when the accused forced entry and entered the house. He threatened all the victims and strangled a 13-year-old boy who attempted to run away after the attack. The accused then repeatedly raped two young girls before he fled the scene. The matter was reported at a nearby police station at Osizweni for further investigation. Newcastle Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit took over the investigation. Using their expertise and skills, the accused was arrested on the same month in Gauteng area where he was hiding. He appeared in court several time but due to insufficient evidence, the case was withdrawn pending DNA results. The accused was re-arrested when the DNA results came back and there was a strong evidence against him.