The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma welcomed a hefty sentence passed by the Themba Magistrate’s Court where 32-year-old David Phala was sentenced to life imprisonment and an additional 85 year jail term for a string of charges including murder , attempted murder, rape as well as robbery with aggravating circumstances.
According to evidence presented in court, the accused, David Phala, forcefully gained entry into a certain house at Marapyane, Mmamethlake in the early hours of 18 December 2008, where he found three female dwellers (mother and two daughters), threatened them with a firearm, raped and robbed them of their cellphones as well as an undisclosed amount of cash. One of the daughters managed to phone the father who was at work and he in turn called the neighbours for assistance.
Two men (neighbours) immediately responded and upon arrival, found Phala in the act, allegedly raping the younger daughter, when they attempted to rescue her, a shootout ensued and one of the men, a Reservist Constable who was a school Principal was fatally wounded and the accused was injured in the process.
The accused was arrested the following day, 19 December 2008, at Matimpule Clinic. On his first appearance, he was granted bail but failed to reappear on the agreed date, this subsequently led to the issuing of a warrant of arrest and suspect being rearrested on 22 August 2017.
When passing down the judgement, Magistrate Gilbert Sono said the country cannot be free unless women are free. He further said that the community is terrorised and traumatised by the same people who are supposed to protect them (women) and ensure that they put a stop to such acts of violent crimes against women and children.
General Zuma is pleased with the collective work done by the investigating team, the National Prosecution Authority, the Judiciary as well as witnesses and Forensics which led to this outstanding conviction. He further said that criminals who commit such violent crimes cannot be left roaming around the streets freely while innocent women and children live in fear.