Rapist smiles while given life terms

Daily News - - NEWS - SNE MA­SUKU

CON­VICTED se­rial rapist Siyabonga Pa­trick Cele, 32, smiled yes­ter­day as he was sen­tenced to two terms of life im­pris­on­ment for rap­ing two women and 10 years for rap­ing an­other.

The women were not present in the Dur­ban Re­gional Court yes­ter­day when mag­is­trate Karen Moope­naar also made an or­der for Cele to be en­tered into the Na­tional Reg­is­ter of Sex­ual Of­fend­ers.

Cele was fur­ther sen­tenced to four years’ im­pris­on­ment for each of the two counts of kid­nap­ping and two years for as­sault with in­tent to cause griev­ous bod­ily harm. These sen­tences are to run con­cur­rently with the life sen­tence.

Cele was re­leased on pa­role in Septem­ber 2013 and on May 29, 2015 ac­costed a 19-yearold woman who was jog­ging in the Um­bum­bulu area. He forced her into church premises where he raped her and as­saulted her so badly that her left eye nearly came out of its socket.

The sec­ond com­plainant, who was 23 at the time, tes­ti­fied that she was walk­ing with her friend in Oc­to­ber 2015, when Cele threat­ened to hurt them if they did not do what he told them. While rap­ing the com­plainant, the friend ran away and re­turned with her un­cle, but Cele had fled.

The third com­plainant was 14 and walk­ing home in uM­lazi when Cele forced her to go with him to his house where he raped her.

Ac­cord­ing to a vic­tim im­pact state­ment, one of the vic­tims said she still suf­fered from se­vere headaches.

“My life changed for ever. The day will never be erased from my mem­ory. I share a bed with my aunt as I still have night­mares. Each night I pray for a peace­ful sleep,” she said.

Cele’s de­fence was that the women were his girl­friends and the sex was con­sen­sual.

Prose­cu­tor Shayna Naidoo had ar­gued for Cele to be sen­tenced to life for each of the three women he raped.

Mpumelelo Danisa, Cele’s at­tor­ney, had pleaded with the court to de­vi­ate from the min­i­mum pre­scribed sen­tence on the rape charge of the adult woman. He in­sisted that Cele had shown re­morse.

Moope­naar said the court was of the view that the chances of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion for Cele were slim, con­sid­er­ing he was on pa­role when he com­mit­ted the crimes. “This shows you’re a vi­o­lent per­son with no re­gard for law. So­ci­ety needs to be pro­tected from peo­ple like you.”

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