Mpho Simon Rafapa, 38, was given two life sentences by the Limpopo High Court after being found guilty of murder and rape.
Rafapa was sentenced to a further five years in prison for housebreaking and stealing, according to Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, a police spokesperson in Limpopo.
“Rafapa was sentenced by the Limpopo Division of the High Court on Friday, June 17, 2022 for cases of house-breaking and theft, rape and murder committed on October 13, 2021 in Sekgakgapeng, Khalanyoni village under Mahwelereng policing precinct,” said Mojapelo.
“The trial court found that the accused and the other suspect broke into his neighbour’s house and entered through the roof, raped a 26-year-old woman and thereafter strangled her with a belt. The suspects then took the victim’s cellphone and fled the scene,” he said.
After the victim’s uncle pleaded with him to check on his niece, Mojapelo stated the slain woman’s body was discovered not long after the incident by another neighbor.
Police were dispatched to the site, and burglary, murder, rape, and theft charges were filed. “The investigating officer Sergeant (Prince) Baloyi immediately started with investigations to trace the suspects responsible for these heinous crimes. His tireless efforts paid off when the victim’s neighbour and the other suspect were positively linked to the crimes and arrested within short space of time,” said Mojapelo.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, the provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, has praised the investigating officer, Baloyi, and the detectives at Mahwelereng for a comprehensive investigation that resulted in Rafapa’s conviction.
“The hefty sentences should give hope to victims of gender- based violence and restore community’s confidence in the police that we will always double our efforts to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended and their incarceration is secured,” said Hadebe.