The South African Police Service (SAPS) in Gauteng has welcomed the sentencing of “Facebook rapist” Thokozani Jiyane, who was slapped with eight life terms’ imprisonment and an additional 223 years by the high court in Johannesburg for raping 10 women.
Jiyane, 23, was found guilty on 17 counts of rape, 10 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, two counts of kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and three counts of fraud, according to SAPS spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza.
“Jiyane started his reign of terror in Reigerpark, Boksburg, and became known as the Facebook rapist in December 2019. He lured his victims on Facebook after pretending to be in the filming industry and offering jobs to unsuspecting women.
’’He promised his victims work in the industry while others he promised them to promote his clothing label,” said Kweza.
“As soon as his targets gave in to his entices (sic), Jiyane would Inbox them on Facebook and WhatsApp and request their photos. He would later arrange a meeting with them and requested that they travel by taxi to Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg.”
At the informal settlement, Jiyane would lead the women into a secluded bushy area where he would rape and rob them.
“Jiyane would rob his victims of their cellular phones and bank cards and later rape them. He also forced some of them to have oral sex with him.
’’Jiyane’s victims came as far as from Middleburg in Mpumalanga, Hammanskraal, KwaMhlanga, Soweto, Vosloorus and Westonaria,” said Kweza.
Meanwhile, acting Gauteng police commissioner Major-General Tommy Mthombeni has commended the SAPS investigating team for bringing down Jiyane.
Mthombeni said the sentencing of Jiyane shows that the SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) is living up to its mandate to ensure that women in South Africa are protected, and crimes against women and children are investigated fully.
Captain Manaka, of the FCS unit in Brakpan, arrested Jiyane in March 2020 at the Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg.
Before the 2020 arrest, Kweza said Jiyane had previously been arrested in Delmas, Mpumalanga, in October 2019.
“However, his case was not placed on the court roll. The prosecutor then indicated that he was not properly linked to the offence (at the time) and was later released. Jiyane took the first taxi out of Delmas and escaped to Boksburg, Gauteng where he continued with his reign of terror,” said Kweza.
“Despite struggles with forensics on the cases, Manaka relied mostly on the cyber unit retrieving most information from Facebook postings that took place between Jiyane and his victims.
’’And this assisted his investigations and ensured that he received the outstanding sentence of eight life sentences.”
The crimes were committed from December 2019 until February 2020.
African News Agency (ANA)