Rustenburg – A man, who repeatedly raped a five-month pregnant woman, was sentenced to five life terms at the North West High Court, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Friday.
NPA spokesperson Henry Mamothame said the high court, sitting in Temba, sentenced Johannes Nokeri to five life terms, a combined 191 years, on 18 counts of rape, 23 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, theft of a motor vehicle, and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
“From 2012 to 2017, Nokeri embarked on a series of rapes, robberies and theft in the areas around Hammanskraal and Temba, in the North West province,” said Mamothame.
“He mostly targeted unsuspecting women, who would be travelling from taverns at night, in the early hours of the morning, and rob them of money, cellphones and clothing items, before raping some of them. One of the victims was five months pregnant, when she was repeatedly raped by Nokeri.”
He said Nokeri was eventually arrested after five years, on July 16, 2017, in possession of a stolen car.
The car was reported stolen a day before Nokeri's arrest, and he was found in possession of six live rounds of ammunition.
Mamothame said, during court proceedings, it emerged that in some of these offences, Nokeri was accompanied by an individual unknown to the state.
“In committing these crimes, it was established that he applied the same modus operandi, by threatening his victims with violence if they fail to abide by his orders,” said Mamothame.
“In some of the rape charges, the state relied on DNA results that linked him to the commission of these offences. Two of the victims testified in court and alluded to Nokeri’s aggressive behaviour when he raped and robbed them.”
He said Nokeri has two previous convictions on two charges of rape, and one of robbery.
“He was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment, to which he has now served three years. In aggravation of sentence, advocate Mashudu Muliwa urged the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence and to further consider the victim impact statements, which depicts the suffering and the eroded dignity of the victims at the hands of Nokeri,” said Mamothame.
He said Nokeri applied for leave to appeal the conviction and sentencing, and the court granted him a hearing.
“He, however, later withdrew it and indicated that he will, however, submit a written application after receiving court transcripts,” added Mamothame.
Nokeri represented himself through the trial, after he fired three attorneys from Legal Aid and one private attorney sourced by Legal Aid.
In a separate case, North West police said two men, arrested in connection with the murder of Reverend Joseph Hollanders, 83, in Bodibe near Lichtenburg, were sentenced on Friday, at the North West High Court, in Mahikeng.
Police spokesperson Captain Aafje Botma said provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Sello Kwena has welcomed the sentences handed down to Thabang Maseko, 24, and Mongezi Molefe, 27, for murder, robbery, and theft.
“The accused’s sentencing came after the killing of Reverend Joseph Hollanders, 83, whose body was discovered at his house, within church premises, on Monday, January 13, 2020, in Bodibe Village. The victim’s body, with hands and feet tied-up, was discovered by a member of the community, who alerted the police. Consequently, three suspects were arrested two days later in Bodibe village, and found in possession of a cellphone belonging to the victim,” said Botma.
She said Thabang Maseko was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for murder, 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstance, of which five years would be served with the sentence of murder to make it 30 years effective imprisonment, while 10 years will be served concurrently with 30 years.
Mongezi Molefe was sentenced to three years’ direct imprisonment for theft.
“Lieutenant General Sello Kwena commended the investigating team, led by Captain Saul Kotu and other role players, including the prosecution, for their teamwork that resulted in the conviction,” said Botma.