In a landmark decision at the Tzaneen Regional Court on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 40-year-old Khutso Ramatseba was convicted on two counts of rape and handed a life sentence for the first count, with an additional ten years for the second.
The court heard chilling details of the first incident that occurred on March 8, 2014. An 18-year-old female, walking with friends in Maphauwe village, was forcibly abducted by Ramatseba.
Threatened with a knife, she was taken to his residence at Mamakata village, where he committed the heinous crime. Afterward, he released her with a terrifying warning against reporting the incident.
According to the police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba “Another 18-year-old female fell victim to Ramatseba, in a separated incident on March 29, 2014”.
“The attacker, armed with a beer bottle, assaulted her as she walked home from church near Molototsi river. Dragged into the bushes, she was raped and left injured as the assailant fled the scene,” added Colonel Ledwaba.
Both cases were reported to the Bolobedu Police Station and later transferred to the Tzaneen Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offenses Unit for investigation.
Detective Sergeant Glenda Mathebula, leading the investigations, successfully traced and apprehended the suspect after an extensive manhunt.
Ledwaba went on to say, DNA evidence conclusively linked Ramatseba to both crime scenes, leading to his conviction.”
The court, recognizing the severity of the crimes, sentenced him to life imprisonment for the first count and an additional ten years for the second,” added Ledwaba.
The sentences are to be served consecutively.As part of the court’s order, the details of the accused will be added to the National Register of Sexual Offenders, marking a significant step in ensuring community safety.