Sitting in the Madadeni Regional Court on January 22, Nkosinathi Maskuku braces himself as he prepares for his sentencing. Facing charges for rape and assault, he knows that the time has come to pay for his crimes.
Masuku was sentenced to life imprisonment, following the rape and assault of two women. The first incident took place on November 6, 2016.
The 24-year-old man allegedly went to his 38-year-old victim’s home in Dicks Halt, Madadeni. Knowing she was unemployed and a smoker, he knocked on the door, offering her pack of cigarettes.
Newcastle SAPS spokesperson, Captain Jabulani Ncube explains the woman opened the door for him.
Having seen him before, despite not being able to recall where she knew him from, the woman trusted the man who generously offered her cigarettes when she had none left.
Seeing that she was alone, Masuku assaulted her, before raping her several times. “After he was finished, the complainant fainted, and he tied her with a rope. He then left her, thinking she was dead,” says Captain Ncube.
However, when she regained consciousness, she managed to inform her neighbours that she had been attacked. A case of rape was opened at the Madadeni Police Station, which was then transferred to the Newcastle Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit.
While the FCS unit was investigating the case, searching for the suspect, another rape case was opened in February 2017. This time, Masuku was not able to escape as the victim knew exactly who he was.
However, the case was withdrawn as the victim died shortly afterwards from natural causes. Despite this, the police refused to give up on their investigations.
Following his samples being tested by the police laboratory, it was discovered that he was linked to the 2016 case. He was then re-arrested in February 2018 and his bail application was successfully opposed until his sentencing on Wednesday, January 22.
As Masuku prepares to serve his sentencing, the KZN SAPS are determined to ensure women do not fear for their lives.
On January 17, Sibusiso Phillip Gumede was sentenced to four terms of life imprisonment for four counts of rape and a further 16 years’ imprisonment for two counts of robbery.
His sentencing follows the Empangeni Regional Court hearing how the 29-year-old man had sexually violated both men and women in the Mpangeni and surrounding areas.
The first incident took place on February 22, 2018. An 18-year-old boy from Gobandlovu Reserve was waiting for his school transport at Maholoholo Forest. While waiting, Gumede approached him and pulled the youngster into the forest.
Hidden from view between the trees, Gumede assaulted the teenager, before raping him and robbing the youngster of his money.
However, following the rape, Gumede apparently fell asleep, giving the victim enough time to escape and report the matter to the Esikhaleni Police Station, where a docket was opened, before being transferred to the Empangeni FCS unit for further investigation.
The second incident took place on April 1, 2018. This time, the 29-year-old suspect targeted a 42-year-old woman who was walking alone from Ninela to Esikhaleni township. Using a knife to threaten her, before beating her, he pulled to the ground, using the long grass as cover, as he raped her, before robbing her.
The third incident took place on July 28, 2018. The victim, a 25-year-old woman who had gone to a mall and who caught a taxi, before deciding to walk alongside the sugarcane plantation at Felixton, towards the University of Zululand residence.
Gumede caught her off guard, using a knife to threaten her, he pulled her into the sugarcane plantation where he raped her repeatedly for approximately six hours.
He eventually released her, but not before eating the birthday cake she had bought herself.
His reign of terror eventually came to a grinding halt, after he attempted to rape a woman who was jogging. She was able to identify him in an identification parade and he was positively identified by all the victims and linked to all four cases,
The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula thanks the detectives from the Empangeni FCS Unit on their role in ensuring that the accused faced prosecution.
“It is very comforting to know that this monster is behind bars where he belongs. The sentence meted out to him by the court sends a clear message that crimes against our women will not be tolerated,” he says.
Well done to all the officers for the role they played in bringing the two rapists to book.