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Four life sentences for Kwaggafontein serial rapist and murderer

Thabang Joseph Selepe terrorised women in the area from 2020 and 2022.

The Mpumalanga Division of the High Court sentenced a serial rapist and murderer who terrorised women in the Kwaggafontein area to four life sentences on Friday June 7.

A provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli, said Thabang Joseph Selepe (32) was sentenced to life for two counts of rape and murder each. He was acquitted of the remaining charges in a third case.

Selepe was also declared unfit to possess a firearm and the court ordered that his sentences run concurrently.
He terrorised women in the Kwaggafontein area from 2020 and 2022. Mdhluli said the court had heard how he had preyed on defenceless women by raping and killing them.

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“At around 00:50 on March 30, 2020, police attended a scene next to a primary school where the body of a female was found lying next to the road, with only a T-shirt on. The woman was later identified by her family as the 20-year-old Paulinah Sangweni,” he said.
A murder case with an additional charge of rape was opened at the Kwaggafontein Police Station.

Mdhluli said at around 07:45 on December 12, 2021, the police attended a similar incident in which the half-naked body of a female was found where Sangweni’s body had been found. He said she had visible bruises on her neck and back. “The body was that of a 29-year-old victim. Another murder case was opened by the police, with an additional charge of rape.

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“A team of investigators worked diligently on the three cases and discovered that they were dealing with a serial rapist and murderer. They intensified their efforts and mobilised resources to apprehend the suspect before he could strike again.

“During the investigation, the police discovered that Selepe had used social media platforms to lure his victims. He pretended to be someone who had a lavish lifestyle, which drew women to him. Thereafter, he would shamelessly rape and kill them,” said Mdhluli.
Selepe was traced and arrested at his residence on August 17, 2022, and was charged accordingly.

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