A 36-year-old Zimbabwean man has been jailed for an effective eight life sentences and 88 years’ imprisonment after he was convicted of a series of rape and murder cases by a Polokwane High Court in Limpopo, South Africa.
Themba Prince Willard Dube (36), who is from Gwanda in Mpaya Village, was convicted of two counts of rape, six counts of murder, five counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, one count of extortion, one count of theft, one count of possession of stolen property and one count of being illegal immigrant.
He was acquitted on one count of murder, five counts of rape, two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances and seven counts of kidnapping.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson for Limpopo Province, Ms Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said in a statement that Dube arrived in the neighbouring country in 2008.
“He was initially arrested on 26 October 2021, for possession of a suspected stolen cellphone that belonged to a woman who was kidnapped in Lebowakgomo in October 2021,” she said.
“The accused was in custody when the investigations led to the discovery of four bodies of women dumped at different locations in Capricorn district. Dube pointed seven places where he had killed the deceased persons and before his arrest, he phoned the deceased’s relatives and demanded R1 000 for the release of the deceased and the family deposited the amount into the deceased’s Capitec account.”
The National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson said during investigations, the property of some of the deceased were found at Seshego Zone 3 inside the accused’s rented room.
She said during the trial, witnesses told the court that Dube introduced himself as David or Prince and make false promises to all the deceased about the existence of employment opportunities at various places.
In some instances, he took the deceased persons to bushes near Polokwane Airport, Peter Mokaba Stadium, Dendron Road, Matlala Road and Blood River where they were raped, robbed and killed.
“In aggravation of sentence, the State advocate Calvin Chauke submitted that the accused does not show any signs of remorse, and that the premeditated offences should be harshly taken into consideration, the nature of the victims (women) are vulnerable members of the society,” said Ms Malabi-Dzangi.
“He also submitted that a week does not go by without a woman being killed and raped. The State prosecutor further submitted that the accused does not feel any pain he brought to the families of the deceased and the court should not deviate from imposing the prescribed minimum sentence”.
She said the trial Judge Griet Muller said that the offences were premeditated, and that the accused did not show any remorse for his actions, and the families of the deceased had lost their loved ones especially those with children.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Ivy Thenga said: “We hope this sentence shows that justice system has no mercy to all criminals who violate our women and children and we will continue to fight the scourge of Gender-Based Violence.” – Chronicle.