A vicious serial rapist and killer was sentenced to a combined prison sentence of more than 25 life sentences, in two separate court cases.
In the first instance, 30-year- old Nthai Steve Radebe who was facing 22 counts of rape, four counts of contravention of the Firearm Control Act (60 of 2000) and four counts of robbery with aggravated circumstance, was sentenced to more than 22 life sentences by the Circuit of the Pretoria High Court, sitting at Delmas for the charges mentioned above.
The court heard how the accused’s reign of terror within the KwaMhlanga-Siyabuswa and surrounding areas from 2012 up until when he was arrested in 2015, left the communities devastated and living in fear. The cases he was accused of included an attack on a young girl on her way home with her male friend. Radebe threatened the duo with a firearm, forcefully took them to a nearby bush and raped the girl repeatedly before robbing them of their belongings. The accused also attacked an old woman who was sleeping with her grandchildren. When he gained entry into their house, he lit the sleeping children’s faces with a cellphone torch, picked a 19-year-old girl from her siblings and threatened the others with a firearm. He then dragged the girl to a nearby bush, raped her repeatedly and left her there.
In another incident, a mother and her two young boys were asleep in their bedroom when Radebe forced the door open, gained entry into the house and raped the mother at gunpoint before robbing the family of home appliances, cosmetics and clothing.
In 2015, his reign of terror was cut short after he was arrested by the police shortly after having accosted a young woman at knife point and raped her repeatedly before robbing her of her cellphone. During the investigation he was further linked to other cases through DNA.
Radebe was sentenced to a life sentence for each rape, totaling 22 life sentences, 20 years for pointing of a firearm and 60 years for robbery with aggravated circumstances.