File: A 35-year-old KwaZulu-Natal man who was wrongfully convicted of rape and spent almost 14-years in prison is considering suing the state.
PIETERMARITZBURG– Sphamandla Sphesihle Ndlela, 23, has been convicted and sentenced in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court to life imprisonment for rape and another five years for housebreaking, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Saturday.
He was sentenced on Thursday after the court heard how he had raped a 24-year-old woman at Imbali unit 13 as Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said.
On October 17, just after midnight, the victim was sleeping in a tuck shop at Imbali unit 13, Plessislaer when Ndlela broke in through the roof, Mbhele said.
He raped the victim, and the owner who was also in the same tuck shop, went out to call community members for help. Police were called and a case of rape and housebreaking was opened at Plessislaer police station.
Ndlela was handed over to police after he was apprehended by community members. The docket was transferred to the Plessislaer family violence, child protection, and sexual offences (FCS) unit for further investigation. The unit, using their expertise, conducted their investigation and “collected enough evidence” against Ndlela. A well-prepared docket was presented at court and a year later he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment, Mbhele said.
In an unrelated case, a 15-year imprisonment sentence was handed to Victor Sibisi, 43, by the Empangeni Regional Court for raping two children in the Sokhulu area. In 2014, Sokhulu raped an eight-year-old girl and in 2016 he raped a seven-year-old boy.
Two cases of rape were opened at the KwaMbonambi police station. Both cases were sent to the KwaMsane FCS unit for investigation, who ensured that the accused was sent to prison, Mbhele said.
KwaZulu-Natal acting police commissioner Maj-Gen Bheki Langa welcomed the sentences. “Rapists do not deserve to be within society as they violently attack vulnerable women and children and threaten them with death should they report their ordeals. This sentence will serve as a warning to other would-be rapists who intend to commit such crimes,” he said.