Zwelitsha – Convicted serial rapist, 36-year-old Khululekani Justin Ngqeza, who used Facebook to lure teenage girls with false promises of modelling careers – has been slapped with three life terms and 280 years in prison.
The Makhanda High Court, in the Eastern Cape, on Monday, (15 May 2023), meted out the hefty sentence to Ngqeza for raping 10 females aged between the ages of 15 and 21.
All the other sentences will run concurrently with the three life sentences.
Evidence before the court was that Ngqeza crafted a devious ploy to exploit teenage girls and women through his Facebook page.
The accused lured unsuspecting modeling hopefuls between 2019 and 2020 with promises of modelling opportunities that would begin with a photo shoot arrangement.
The accused arranged to meet his victims at Bed and Breakfast guest houses or secluded bushy areas, where he would demand that the “aspiring models” pay for “profile photographs” which he took before raping them.
However, Ngqeza’s modus operandi unraveled in Queenstown in May 2020 when a brave rape survivor reported him to the police.
Police were alerted that the rapist was travelling to Mthatha.
A roadblock was set up at the Kei Bridge, where police arrested Ngqeza on 19 May 2020.
Since Ngqeza’s arrest, six other complainants have come forward and reported to the police how they were attacked and violated by the accused.
Three of the complainants are from the Western Cape – Woodstock and Sea Point, Cape Town.
Ngqeza, who has been in custody since his arrest, was found guilty earlier this year on 6 February 2023 of committing numerous crimes ranging from rape to trafficking.
South African Police Service Eastern Cape Commissioner Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene has welcomed the sentence meted out to Ngqeza.
She also applauded the excellent investigation skills of the Provincial Head Office Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (Serial and Electronic Crime Investigation) for ensuring that convicted rapist Ngqeza “remains behind bars for the rest of his life”.
“Congratulations to the investigating team and the investigating officer, D/Sgt Busisiwe Ncula who ensured that Ngqeza never sees the outside of a prison cell for as long as he lives,” said Lieutenant General Mene.
“We will continue to prioritise and fight Gender-based violence in all its forms.
“The increasing brutality and violence against women rank as the highest form of betrayal because the majority of it is in the hands of those they trust.”