Serial rapists convicted on 42 counts
“IT IS three years later and my eyes still fill with tears when I think of how I was raped. No one will understand how it really feels to be so humiliated and reduced to a piece of trash. It does something to you that you cannot describe.”
One of more than 30 victims of two Soshanguve serial rapists was describing how their crime had made her feel.
The pair were convicted in the Pretoria High Court of 42 counts of rape between them yesterday. Samuel Ngobeni, 42, and Jeffrey Tsoku, 40, were also convicted on a combined 33 charges of robbery.
They admitted to their reign of terror between 2013 and 2016 in Soshanguve, Rosslyn and Brits.
Their victims worked either in Wonderpark, Kolonnade or at restaurants and food outlets in Brits.
Taxis were scarce when the women finished work, so they relied mostly on lifts at designated points. Ngobeni and Tsoku, travelling in Ngobeni’s car, would stop and offer them a lift.
Along the way, they would drive to a deserted spot, where they tied the women up and threatened them either with a firearm, pepper spray or a knife.
One or both would rape their victim after robbing them of their possessions. The naked and frightened women were left stranded in the bushes in the dark.
Both men elected not to testify, but after it became apparent they could each face several life imprisonment sentences for their deeds, Ngobeni changed his mind.
The 42-year-old said it was only by the grace of God that he was arrested before he turned into a killer.
“I am so grateful to God that he caused me to be arrested before I killed someone. I could have stood here with blood of my hands,” Ngobeni said.
He apologised to his victims, who filled the public gallery.
Asked by his advocate why he had raped and robbed his victims, Ngobeni said: “I still ask myself the same question.
“I was not brought up this way. I am still surprised at what kind of devil made me do this.”
Ngobeni said he was also grateful that God “took him out of a dark place and put him in this lighter place”.
As a father of three daughters he feared someone would do the same to them, he said, while assuring the court that he had seen his wrongs of the past and that he was now on the right path.
“I have already forgiven myself, I now want my victims to forgive me,” he said.
Ngobeni said he had pleaded guilty to all the charges because he did not want to prolong the pain of his victims, who would then still have to testify about their ordeals, adding: “I wanted to spare them that.”
The victims all said that being raped had left them devastated and that they still experienced nightmares.