The North West High Court in Vryburg on Wednesday sentenced rapist and murderer Bafana Johannes Mans to three life terms for kidnapping, double rape and murder of four-year-old Tshimologo Lotshabeng.
The court handed down a life sentence for murder, two life imprisonment for rape, and a five-year sentence for kidnapping. With the exception of murder, all sentences will be executed simultaneously.
Manse was arrested at his home in Jan Kempdorp, Northern Cape on May 16, 2021, after Tshimologo’s lifeless naked body was found in the bushes of Kgomotso village near Taung.
According to evidence presented in court, Mans was one of the people who accompanied Tshimologo’s mother from a tavern to her friend’s house.
He waited until the mother fell asleep, then kidnapped the child and took her to nearby bushes, where he raped and killed her. He was refused bail in his first court appearance on May 24, 2021 and has been behind bars since his arrest.
In aggravation of sentence, Advocate Xolisile Philisane urged the court not to go above the minimum sentence prescribed for the offence, given that it was committed against a helpless minor.
He argued that the accused showed no remorse for his actions, as he failed to take a stand and apologise to the family of the deceased.
The North West Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr Makhari-Sekhaolaleo, praised the cooperation between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in bringing the perpetrator to justice.
She said this would clarify the advocacy the criminal justice system is making in dealing with those who act against the protection of women, children and the elderly.
The North West Police Commissioner praised the Investigating Officer, Colonel Kgosi Dihemo and the Prosecutor, Advocate Xolisile Philisane for their hard work in prosecuting the case.
He said that the punishment handed down against the offender will surely serve as a deterrent to those who violate and kill innocent women and children.