Residents of Molepolole breathed a big sigh of relief on Tuesday as Molepolole Magistrates’ Court put away a 24-year old career criminal, Mosimanegape Motlhabaphuti popularly known as CR7 for 10 years in imprisonment.
Molepolole’s Borakalalo ward native had terrorised the community by incessently robbing and raping people.
It was in fact commonly known that when a victim entered the police station with a stab wound the number one suspect would be Motlhabaphuti.
He was convicted on his plea of guilty for two counts of burglary and stealing from a dwelling house.
Since he had a previous conviction of robbery, which he was sentenced to 10 years for on August 30th, 2023, it provoked the court not to be lenient of a habitual criminal.
Principal Magistrate Setshedi had sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment before in addition two strokes of the cane on the buttocks with no part of the sentence suspended for the offence of burglary.
For the second count of stealing from a dwelling house Motlhabaphuthi got a three-year prison sentence.
Both sentences run concurrently with the robbery sentence he was already serving.
Motlhaphuti is said to have on December 15th, 2016 forcefully dragged a 12-year-old girl from the playing ground in Molepolole, Borakalalo ward to his place where he raped her.
In passing sentence, Magistrate Majuta noted that it is a very serious offence that carries a minimum sentence of 10 years though the accused was young at the time and he admitted he was not a first offender.
“It is a very serious offence particularly that the complainant integrity was taken at a tender age. It is the principle of our law that punishment must fit the particular circumstances of the offender, the society and be blended with the major of mercy. The only means of escape is only when the convicted person would have to pass the threat of exceptional extenuating circumstances which I didn’t find from the accused mitigation,” explained Magistrate Majuta.
Meanwhile, Motlhabaphuti also committed another robbery by attacking one Ivine Kawaza and using an electronic chocker to make him weak before he made away with his cellphone, passport and P240 cash back in July 7th, 2018.
The case is scheduled for continuation of trial next year on July 4th.