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Zimbabwean jailed for life in SA

by Staff reporter
13 Mar 2024 at 01:07hrs | Views
A ZIMBABWEAN man who committed a series of crimes in South Africa, including murder, armed robbery, rape, kidnapping, housebreaking, escaping from jail and unlawful possession of a firearm, was yesterday slapped with three life sentences and 226 years in jail by the Pretoria High Court.

Leonard Lemmy Chauke (34) escaped from Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Services in Pretoria where he was serving a 15-year sentence in December 2020 after doing just two months.

Chauke and his accomplices committed crimes in and around Olievenhoutbosch Township and Wierda Park in Centurion, outside Pretoria, raping and robbing victims of their belongings.

Chauke was convicted on his own plea of guilty to 26 counts of rape, murder, illegal migration, kidnapping, housebreaking, robbery, escaping from lawful custody, and illegal possession of a firearm by Pretoria High Court judge, Justice Portia Phahlane.

In mitigation, he claimed he committed the offences while under the influence of drugs.

In its submission, the State, represented by Advocate Mokautu Masilo, said Chauke did not show any remorse for the crimes he committed.

National Prosecution Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson for North Gauteng, Ms Lumka Mahanjana, confirmed Chauke's conviction and sentence.

"Leonard Lemmy Chauke, an illegal Zimbabwean immigrant from Olievenhoutbosch, has been sentenced by the Pretoria High Court to three life terms for two counts of rape and murder, 80 years' imprisonment for four counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, 90 years for six counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, 15 years for five counts of housebreaking, and 15 years for three counts of kidnapping," she said.

"Additionally, Chauke will serve 10 years' imprisonment for rape, 12 years for four counts of unlawful possession of ammunition, two years for escaping from custody and two years for being illegal in the country."

Ms Mahanjana said soon after escaping, Chauke and his accomplices committed crimes in and around Olievenhoutbosch and Wierda Park using the same modus operandi.

They would break into houses, rob occupants of their belongings and rape some of the complainants, the youngest being a 17-year-old girl.

"On June 7, 2022, Chauke and his accomplice shot and killed a 35-year-old man at a squatter camp in Olievenhoutbosch. Chauke was then arrested two days later after a witness to the murder managed to positively identify him," said Ms Mahanjana

"Furthermore, the crimes committed were heinous and were done in a meticulous way where Chauke and his accomplice would scout and attack vulnerable people and threaten them with a weapon."

Ms Mahanjana said Justice Phahlane concurred with the State that Chauke did not show any remorse.

"The judge said everyone has a right to life, which should not be taken away from them and that communities are terrorised by people like Chauke. The judge said a clear message should be sent," she said.

Source - The Chronicle
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