Underberg rapist to spend 35 years in jail

On 4 June 2018, the Ixopo Regional Court sentenced Thulebona Alex Phuzukubona Phungula (23) to a total of 35 years imprisonment for rape, assault GBH and robbery with aggravating circumstances. It is alleged on 19 December 2015, at Underberg, at 01:00, a 17-year-old victim was walking home when an unknown man offered her a lift home in his vehicle stating he was a metered taxi driver. She accepted and en route he stopped and forced her out of the vehicle. He dragged her into the veld and repeatedly raped her. He then viciously assaulted her and robbed her of a cellphone. The victim managed to escape and hide until she was able to get help. Charges of rape, assault GBH and robbery were opened at Himeville SAPS.

The docket was transferred to Plessislaer Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for further investigation. The accused was unknown to the victim at the time of the incident however she was able to give a full description and an identikit was compiled. The accused was arrested two days later and the victim positively identified him. The cell phone was also found in the possession of the accused. Phungula was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for rape, five years imprisonment for the assault and five years' imprisonment for the robbery.

Source: South African Police Service