North West man gets life imprisonment for raping his ex-girlfriend

A man was sentenced for the rape of his former girlfriend. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

A man was sentenced for the rape of his former girlfriend. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 13, 2023


A man who dragged his ex-girlfriend out of a tavern before raping her was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Thabo William Modibedi, 39, was sentenced at the regional court in Mogwase for raping his former lover.

The court declared him unfit to possess a firearm, unfit to work with children, and for his name to be added to the National Register of Sexual Offenders.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson in North West division, Henry Mamothame, said Modibedi's conviction emanates from an incident that occurred in the early hours of October 21, 2018, wherein Modibedi approached the complainant at a tavern and asked her to go home with him.

She refused, and Modibedi got aggressive in front of other patrons and started assaulting her.

She tried to run away, but he caught up with her and continued to assault her as he dragged her to his home.

"Upon arrival at his home, he could not find the key to enter, and he subsequently dragged her to one of the shacks in the yard and repeatedly raped her. She later managed to escape and received assistance from one of the neighbours, who then took her to the police to report the matter." Mamothame said.

He was arrested on October 23 in 2018 and was granted R1000 bail. He pleaded not guilty to the offence.

"The state was faced with challenges before trial, as one of the witnesses was shot dead, others could not be traced as they had relocated, and others stopped attending court and could not be traced.

"During the trial, the then state prosecutor, advocate Tebogo Mokoka, led his evidence with the testimony of the medical practitioner who examined the complainant and the testimony of the complainant. On 3 May 2022, the court found the accused guilty, and his bail was immediately cancelled."

Mamothame said the case was delayed by two subsequent applications from the defence to have the recusal of the presiding officer removed from the case, which the court dismissed.

"They subsequently took the judgment of the recusal to the High Court of South Africa, North West Division, for review, and it was also dismissed," he said.

On October 11, 2023, a new State advocate, Sicelo Moselakgomo, addressed the court in aggravation of sentence, and he urged the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment, as the offence that was committed is dehumanising and unacceptable.

"Magistrate Lebogang Raborife agreed with the state and remarked on the traumatic experience of the complainant, which resulted in her relocation, and the humiliation she suffered as she sought help from neighbours in a naked state," Mamothame said.