On Tuesday, the case against 35-year-old Bheka Rapolai, who is charged with the kidnapping, rape and murder of 12-year-old Thandi Mampane, gets underway at the Nebo Magistrate’s Court in Sekhukhune, Limpopo.
Chaos broke out as suspected child killer Bheka Rapolai applies for bail
The Limpopo Community Safety MEC, Dickson Masemola, is amongst people, who are in the courtroom as Rapolai is set to apply for bail.
Chaos broke out as angry residents in Limpopo saw the 35-year-old Bheka Rapolai, who was being escorted by police out of the courtroom. During Thandi Mampane’s funeral, Limpopo Premier, Stan Mathabatha, stated that the justice system should make an example of the suspect arrested for the rape and murder of the 12-year-old girl, by imposing a harsher sentence.
The 12-year-old left for school and was found murdered near bushes
Thandi Mampane left for school in Ga-Marishane village, outside Groblesdalon on 5 September, and never returned home. After being missing for a day, on 6 September, Limpopo police confirmed to have found the 12-year-old girl’s body.
Upon further investigation, police confirmed she was kidnapped, raped and murdered, her body was found in the bushes at Ga-Marishane near Jane Furse in Limpopo.
Thandi Mampane was laid to rest on 14 September in Limpopo
On 14 September, the 12-year-old girl was laid to rest at Ga-Marishane, and Limpopo Premier, Stan Mathabatha was part of the keynote speakers, and he noted that they will ensure that the suspect is not granted bail.
Tributes streamed in from school children, community members, MEC for Transport and Community Safety, Dickson Masemola, and other stakeholders that gathered at Mampane’s funeral service.
President Ramaphosa: “Let us declare that enough is enough”
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on 5 September, regarding gender-based violence that has been rapidly increasing in South Africa after intense protests demanded an action plan. The President further noted that all crimes against women and children should instantly attract harsher sentences, and a life sentence for these crimes will be proposed.
“Violence against women is not a women’s problem. It is not a problem of what a woman said or did, what a woman was wearing, or where she was walking. Violence against women is a man’s problem. It is men who rape and kill women. There is, therefore, an obligation on the men of this country to act, and to end crimes of such behaviour.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa