Ng­wenya went ex­tra mile to nail rapist

Of­fi­cer han­dled vic­tims with care

Sowetan - - News - By Per­tu­nia Mafok­wane

Con­sta­ble Nom­pilo Ng­wenya was so deter­mined to nail a se­rial rapist that ter­rorised women in Tem­bisa that she took his vic­tims into her own home dur­ing her six-month in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The soft-spo­ken Ng­wenya, 35, sin­gle-hand­edly brought Shadrack Chauke, 25, to jus­tice for the rapes of 17 women in four years.

On Tues­day, the South Gaut­eng High Court sen­tenced Chauke to 25 life sen­tences for rape and at­tempted mur­der and 254 years for other charges in­clud­ing rob­bery and as­sault.

Ng­wenya, who has been an of­fi­cer for only five years, said this was her first big case and the long­est sen­tence handed down on her record.

“Most of the vic­tims in these cases had left Tem­bisa for the ru­ral ar­eas, so I had to ac­com­mo­date them when they came here for the iden­tity pa­rade and con­sul­ta­tions.

“Oth­ers had young chil­dren and I had to feed them. I was so deter­mined to crack this case that I was will­ing to go the ex­tra mile,” she said.

Ng­wenya nabbed Chauke on Christ­mas Eve in 2015 af­ter one of his vic­tims spot­ted him at Win­nie Man­dela Park, also in Tem­bisa.

Ng­wenya had been in­ves­ti­gat­ing the vic­tims’ house breaking and rape cases when she pounced on Chauke.

She spent Christ­mas Day at the Tem­bisa po­lice sta­tion to help with ob­tain­ing Chauke’s DNA sam­ples for tests.

On March 2016, the DNA re­sults linked Chauke to 16 other cases where women were at­tacked, raped and robbed.

Ng­wenya had to re­open most of the cases that had been closed be­cause po­lice could not trace the suspect.

Most of the vic­tims had also changed their con­tact num­bers and moved out of Gaut­eng. She tracked them all with the help of Home Af­fairs.

Their lo­ca­tions ranged from Venda in Limpopo to Senekal in the Free State. It took Ng­wenya four months to track down all the vic­tims.

“Some of the vic­tims were mar­ried and they had not dis­closed their or­deals to their hus­bands.

“Some felt that the in­ci­dents hap­pened a long time ago and they did not want to open old wounds. I worked very hard to con­vince them oth­er­wise. I promised them that their hus­bands will never know and I kept my word,” she said.

“The bru­tal­ity and cru­elty used in these cases af­fected me emo­tion­ally but I was more deter­mined to solve the case.

“I never dreamt about be­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer but now there is no place I would rather be.”


Con­sta­ble Nom­pilo Ng­wenya used a woman’s touch to help fear­ful vic­tims to open up so that a se­rial rapist is bust.

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