Serial rapist gets 232 year sentence

25 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Serial rapist gets 232 year sentence Image taken from FBIretired

The Sunday News

Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor

 AFTER a reign of terror that saw him sexually violating 18 young women in Bulawayo, Prosper Bhule (30) of Mvundlana Village in Tsholotsho District has been thrown behind bars for an effective 232 years.

So cheeky was Bhule that after forcing himself on his victims he would rob them of their valuables and assault them with fists, booted feet and slaps. The cases occurred between December 2018 and March 2022, leaving a trail of fear and trauma in its wake. Bhule targeted victims aged between 13 to 21, instilling fear and apprehension in the community. 

However, justice caught up with him when he was apprehended in March 2022 in Bulawayo’s Luveve suburb. 

Following his arrest, his victims positively identified him during an identification parade, leading to his conviction and the delivery of a resounding sentence that reflects the gravity of his crimes.

The alleged rapist targeted female-headed homes and came disguised as a cross-border transporter (umalayitsha). Bhule’s modus operandi would be to ask mostly high school female pupils to accompany him to collect groceries purportedly sent from the Diaspora by relatives before raping them. 

He operated in Old Pumula, Luveve, Cowdray Park, Gwabalanda, Entumbane, and Njube suburbs.

Bulawayo Regional Magistrate Mr Mark Dzira on Friday found Bhule guilty of 15 counts of rape after two of the counts were withdrawn after plea as the complainants were not located. He was also found guilty of one count of attempted rape.

Mr Dzira sentenced him to the minimum mandatory 15 years for each of the 15 rape cases and seven years for the attempted rape, meaning Bhule will serve an effective 232 years. 

According to the State case as presented by the prosecutor, Mr Acumen Khupe, between December 2018 and March 2022, Bhule went to several houses in the western suburbs of Bulawayo and allegedly lured the victims aged between 13 and 21 by lying to them that he had been sent by their relatives in South Africa to deliver groceries. Bhule would mention the names of the victims’ relatives. He would claim that the groceries were in his car that had broken down. 

On all occasions, Bhule would ask the victims to accompany him to the purported spot where he left the car.

It was stated that Bhule would use footpaths passing through bushes where he would rape the victims and rob them of money, cellphones and other valuables. After diligent surveillance and intelligence gathering, detectives established that Bhule was planning to visit a house in New Luveve. They waylaid him leading to his arrest on 18 March 2022 and the subsequent recovery of some of the stolen cellphones, clothes and earrings. 

Bhule was positively identified by the complainants at an identification parade. 

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