The so-called Tsakana cemetery serial rapist was sentenced to life imprisonment three times and an additional 30 years in prison.
Petetona Abel Lebele (43) was sentenced in the Pretoria High Court, sitting in Benoni, after being found guilty on four charges of rape and four of kidnapping.
The offenses took place between January 2017 and August 2019. The court ordered that his name be entered on the National Sex Offender Register.
According to Lumka Mahanjana, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Lebele’s first and youngest victim was a seven-year-old girl. She was on her way to school on 19 January 2017, when Lebele stopped her and dragged her to a cemetery where he raped her. On 19 August 2019, the accused raped a 32-year-old woman in the presence of her two-year-old child. His other victims were 13 and 16 years old.
Lebele pleaded guilty to the charges against him and told the court in his guilty plea that he targeted his victims when they were on their way to school or home. He also admitted to grabbing his victims and dragging them to the Tsakane cemetery where he raped them.
Adv. State prosecutor Lawrence Sivhidzho told the court in aggravation that Lebele targeted defenseless young children and raped them at a cemetery, a respected place where loved ones rest. He asked the court to impose a heavy sentence.
Judge Portia Phahlane said it is the court’s duty to send out a clear message that such offenses will not be tolerated. After sentencing, the accused applied for leave to appeal against his life sentences. This was opposed by the state and refused by the court.
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