Themba Prince Willards Dube (36), of Gwanda Mpaya village in Zimbabwe, was convicted and sentenced by the Limpopo Polokwane High Court, to 8 life sentences plus 88 years, for two counts of rape, six counts of murder, five counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, one count of extortion, one count of theft, one count of possession of stolen property and one count of being an illegal immigrant.
The accused was acquitted on one count of murder, five counts of rape, two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances and seven counts of kidnapping.
The accused came to the Republic of South Africa without a passport or permit in 2008. He was initially arrested on 26 October 2021, for possession of a suspected stolen cellphone that belonged to a woman who was kidnapped in Lebowakgomo in October 2021. The accused was in custody when the investigations led to the discovery of four bodies of women dumped at different locations in the Capricorn district. The accused pointed seven places where he had killed the deceased persons. Before his arrest, he phoned the deceased’s relatives and demanded R1000 for the release of the deceased and the family deposited the amount into the deceased’s Capitec account.
During investigations, the property of some of the deceased were found at Seshego Zone3 inside the accused’s rented room.
During the trial, the State witnesses told the court that Dube introduced himself as David or Prince and made false promises to all the deceased about the existence of employment opportunities at various place. He took deceased persons to the bushes near Polokwane Airport, Peter Mokaba Stadium, Dendron road, Matlala road and Blood River where they were raped, robbed and killed.
ln aggravation of sentence, the state advocate Calvin Chauke submitted that the accused does not show any signs of remorse, the premeditated offences should be harshly taken into consideration, the nature of the victims (women) are vulnerable members of the society. He then submitted that a week does not go by without a woman being killed and raped. The state prosecutor further submitted that the accused does not feel any pain he brought to the families of the deceased and the court should not deviate from imposing the prescribed minimum sentence.
Judge Griet Muller said that the offences were premeditated, the accused does not show any remorse of his actions, the families of the deceased have lost their loved ones especially those with children and he further said that Gender-Based-Violence will not be tolerated.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Ivy Thenga welcomes the sentence and applauds the good work done by Adv. Chauke and the following detectives Seroka, Manaka, Mokgohla, Magadani and Matumba.
“We hope this sentence shows that justice system has no mercy to all criminals who violate our women and children and we will continue to fight the scourge of Gender Based Violence,” said Thenga.