Durban detectives commended for securing hefty rape sentence

The super-sleuth detectives of the Durban Central Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit received high praise after they successfully secured a conviction in a rape investigation.

Thanks to their dedication and perseverance, 38-year-old Sipho Bhekinkosi Shandu faced the full wrath of the law after he was sentenced to life imprisonment and an additional 18 years for raping three victims between the ages of 17 and 33. Shandu appeared in the Durban High Court, recently.

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In the first case, on May 26, 2012, the 19-year-old victim was at her home in Sundumbili when she was approached by the accused, who forcefully entered her room. He dragged her to a nearby sugarcane field where he raped her. The matter was soon thereafter reported to the police.

The second victim, a 17-year-old girl, was also at her home in Samungu on May 27, 2012, when she was approached by Shandu. He dragged her out of her room and raped her in a nearby sugarcane field as well. The accused threatened to burn the victim but luckily, she managed to escape. A case of rape was subsequently opened.

In the third incident, on June 5, 2017, a 33-year-old woman was at Mount Moriah when she was raped by the accused. The case was reported to the Durban Central SAPS and the Durban Central Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit took over the investigation.

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Provincial police spokesman, Col Thembeka Mbhele said that on May 14, 2013, the accused was apprehended by Durban Central detectives and was detained at the Durban Central SAPS. He appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on May 15, 2013 and bail was opposed. Through DNA samples, he was linked to the two previous cases as well.

“He appeared in court several times until he was sentenced and convicted in the high court. The accused received life imprisonment for the Sundumbili rape, eight years for the Eshowe rape and 10 years for the last incident. The sentences will run concurrently,” said Col Mbhele.

Following the successful conviction, KZN’s acting provincial commissioner, Maj Gen Bheki Langa commended detectives for their thorough investigations that led to the conviction of the accused.

“I would like to praise our detectives for gathering full evidence and presenting it to court which led to the successful prosecution of the accused. I welcome the sentence handed down to the accused and we hope that it will send a strong message to other rapists that the long arm of law will catch you whenever and wherever you are,” he added.

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Elaine Naidoo
Digital editor

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