Mpumalanga Provincial Commissioner welcomes hefty sentences meted out to rapist

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has welcomed a 75 year jail term meted out to Gerhardus Botha aged 42, for raping three women, in the province and in Gauteng.

Botha's sentencing comes after the Brakpan and Bethal Regional Courts heard how he raped his victims he had offered lifts in separate incidents which occurred in Brakpan during 2015, as well as in Barberton and Bethal in 2017. In all these incidents, he used the same modus operandi where he drove to nearby bushes, pointed the victims with a firearm, ordered them to undress after which he forcefully raped and robbed them of their belongings.

The sequence of events indicates that Botha was arrested shortly after the Barberton incident, however, the case was provisionally withdrawn pending DNA results. Whilst the court was awaiting for the results, Botha raped another woman in Bethal during May 2017. When the DNA results came back from the forensic laboratory, they positively linked him to all three cases, hence the sentencing.

The accused was sentenced as follows:

For the Brakpan incident, he was granted 20 years imprisonment for rape and 15 years for the robbery which will run concurrently.

He was further sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for each of the Barberton cases which will also run concurrently.

The court then ordered that five years of the effective term of the Barberton incident, shall be served concurrently with the effective term of 20 years for the Brakpan case. The narrative by the court indicates that the accused will serve an effective 30 years in prison for the Brakpan and Barberton incidents.

For the Bethal incident, the accused was granted a direct ten year jail term earlier this year after pleading guilty.

The Provincial Commissioner appreciated the sterling work done by the investigating team in both provinces and hopes that the sentences will serve as a deterrent to other would-be criminals.

Source: South African Police Service