Eastern Cape rapist sentenced to life behind bars

Melumzi Tom was sentenced to life in prison for the 2015 rape of a woman in Peddie.
Image: 123RF/ Andreypopov

An Eastern Cape man has been sentenced to life behind in prison by the Bhisho high court on Tuesday for the rape of a 44-year old woman.

Melumzi Tom, 38, was also sentenced to 15 years for robbery, 10 years for housebreaking, eight-years for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, five-years for unlawful possession of a firearm, a further five-years for unlawful possession of ammunition and three-years for sexual assault.

All the sentences will run concurrently.

He was arrested on 22 May 2018 after shooting and raping the woman at Lower Gwalana village in Peddie in November 2015.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said the rapist broke into the victim’s home and demanded money before forcing himself on her.

“He hit her with a firearm on the head and shot her on the leg. She then informed him where she kept her money which he in turn took.”

She said Tom then raped the injured woman and fled the scene.

Ngcakani said Tom had previous convictions.

The Eastern Cape acting director for public prosecutions, Livingstone Sakata, said: “The NPA welcomes this sentence as it is sending a clear message that violence against women is seen in a very serious light by our courts. We also congratulate the prosecutor for the case and the SAPS investigating team for the good work that they have done.”

The conviction comes as SA is experiencing a new wave of gender-based violence, which has been widely condemned and described as a crisis by President Cyril Ramaphosa and activists.

By Bhongo Jacob



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