LIMPOPO – 31-year-old ‘habitual’ rapist Kenneth Manabela appeared before the Thohoyandou High Court recently and was handed down multiple life sentences for crimes committed between 2011 and 2017.
Manabela from Mbokota village outside Makhado appeared on seven counts of rape and six of kidnapping and was sentenced to five life sentences plus 50 years, said Police spokesperson, Col Moatshe Ngoepe.
“Manabela was sentenced to five life sentences for five counts of rape, 20 years imprisonment for two counts of rape and 30 years imprisonment for six counts of kidnapping.”
These long jail terms follow his reign of terror in the Mbokota,Bungeni and Chavani in the Waterval area outside Makhado from 2011 to 2017.
Ngoepe explained: “In November 2011 he appeared before the Waterval Margistrate’s Court on two counts of rapes and was later released on bail. He was again arrested in December 2012 for two counts of kidnapping and two counts of rap and was again released on bail by the Hlanganani Magistrate’s Court. In March 2017 he was arrested yet again for the rape of an 18-year-old.”
His victims are aged between 13 and 18 and his modus operandi includes threatening his victims with a knife or screwdriver, forcing them to his homestead, raping them and assaulting them afterwards, added Ngoepe.
Police Commissioner Lt Genl Nneke Jim Ledwaba has applauded the joint efforts by all the role players and stressed that this sentencing will serve as an impediment to all those who find themselves on the wrong side of the law especially those who are targeting the vulnerable citizens.
“We hope that these jail terms will bring a relief to those affected especially now that the heartless criminal will be where he belongs for his entire life”, concluded General Ledwaba.