Polokwane – Convicted multiple murderer Themba Prince Willards Dube has lost his freedom forever after the Limpopo High Court slapped him with eight life sentences plus 88 years in prison.
The 36-year-old from Mpaya village in Gwanda, Zimbabwe, was convicted and sentenced for a litany of serious crimes that included:
- two counts of rape,
- six counts of murder,
- five counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances,
- one count of extortion,
- one count of theft,
- one count of possession of stolen property and
- one count of being an illegal immigrant.
Commenting on the sentence, the Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Ivy Thenga said: “We hope this sentence shows that the justice system has no mercy to all criminals who violate our women and children, and we will continue to fight the scourge of gender-based violence.”
The accused was acquitted on one count of murder, five counts of rape, two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, and seven counts of kidnapping.
The court found that Dube unlawfully entered South Africa without a passport in 2008.
Dube was initially arrested on 26 October 2021, for possession of a suspected stolen cellphone that belonged to a woman who was kidnapped in Lebowakgomo in October 2021.
The accused was in custody when SA Police Service (SAPS) investigations led to the discovery of four bodies of women dumped at different locations in Capricorn district. Dube was positively linked to the murders.
During the investigations, Dube pointed out the places where he killed his victims.
The court found Dube brazenly telephoned his victim’s relatives and demanded R1 000 for their “release”.
It was later established that a distraught family deposited the ransom into a Capitec account belonging to Dube’s victim.
During investigations, some items belonging to the deceased were found at Seshego Zone 3 inside Dube’s rented room.
A state witness told the court that Dube introduced himself as “David or Prince”.
Dube would then entice his victims with promises of jobs at various places.
The court found that the accused lured the unsuspecting victims to bushes, near Polokwane Airport, Peter Mokaba Stadium, Dendron Road, Matlala Road, and Blood River, where he raped, robbed, and killed them.
In aggravation of sentence, state prosecutor Advocate Calvin Chauke said Dube preyed on vulnerable members of the society and did not show any remorse.
The prosecutor urged the court to impose a stiff sentence.
Before meting out the sentence, Judge Griet Muller lamented that the families of the deceased had lost their loved ones, especially those with children.
The judge said gender-based-Violence will not be tolerated.
Afterward, Advocate Thenga applauded “the good work done by Advocate Chauke and detectives Seroka, Manaka, Mokgohla, Magadani, and Matumba”.