Mbombela – A man who stalked and assaulted women in Mpumalanga over a six-year period and kidnapped others to rob and rape them has been sentenced to 45 years in jail.

Sibusiso Thembinkosi Ngobeni, 30, from Dwaleni Trust near White River, was sentenced when he appeared in the Nelspruit High Court.

He was arrested in 2015 and faced 12 charges of kidnapping, armed robbery, rape and assault and house breaking with intent to rape.

Ngobeni pleaded not guilty and told the court all the women were his girlfriends and they conspired to lay charges against him because he did not give them money.

Judge Shadrack Mashele said according to the first victim, who was 54 years old at the time, a man entered her house at about 20:00 on August 1, 2009.

“The victim said it happened after she sent her daughter to the shop. The man overpowered her and threw her down. She tried to fight back and bit him on his chest. He managed to undress her and raped her,” said Mashele.

Victim threatened with murder

The judge said when the man escaped he left his hat, which the victim’s daughter identified as one she knew belonged to the accused.

On December 15, 2009, a 22-year-old woman was stalked by a man as she returned from her boyfriend’s home.

Judge Mashele said the accused grabbed her by her belt, slapped her and warned her not to scream.

“You dragged her to a two-room house where you forced her to undress. When she refused to obey you hit her on her head with a bottle…she screamed for help but nobody came to assist. You threatened to kill her if she continued resisting. She finally allowed you and was raped,” he said.

On September 13, 2013, at White River, the accused kidnapped a 27-year-old woman who was returning from work.

“You lied to her that you were taking her to her place. After she agreed and got into your friend’s BMW, you drove with her into a bush. Your friend dropped you and at knife point, you forced her to undress and raped her,” the judge said.

Tearful testimonies

The woman was robbed of her cellphone and R50 cash.

When she saw people approaching and called for help, the accused jumped over a fence and escaped.

“On November 7, 2013, another woman was also attacked by a man fitting your description. You told her there was a white man in White River looking for a maid and after she agreed to take the job, you went with her to a bush where you raped her. She was robbed of a cellphone and R400 cash. She went to open a case at the local police station,” said the judge.

Judge Mashele said on January 16, 2015, two other young women were kidnapped by the accused and an accomplice and taken to a two-roomed house at Phola Trust.

“You and your friend raped the two women. In your defence you said the victims were your girlfriends and the sex was consensual, which according to them is a lie.

“Some of the victims even cried when giving their evidence. The daughter of the 54-year-old victim said she knew you well. She was even shocked to hear that her mother was having an affair with you,” said Judge Mashele.