• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

EC rapists jailed for life

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

Pictured above: Captain Ruben Van Schalkwyk who worked on both cases for some eight years, the detectives' hard work paid off.

Jonny Bohell (34), a Queenstown businessman was sentenced to life in prison at the Grahamstown High Court after he raped a nine-year-old boy at Unifound, Mlungisi in 2018. Bohell was denied bail after his arrest in 2018.

Another Queenstown man, taxi driver Thandinkosi Stofile (34) was also sentenced to life in prison at Lady Frere Magistrate Court. Stofile raped a physically challenged 12-year old girl in 2011, Ezibeleni. He was the driver of a contract for school children when, during a trip home, the victim was taken to an open veld after all learners were dropped off.

Captain Ruben Van Schalkwyk (pictured) worked on both these cases, facing the immense challenge of dealing with children that had been victimised sexually and culprits that denied the crime. After 8 years of vigilant investigations and patience with the system, the detective’s hard work paid off.

“Van Schalkwyk sacrificed many hours during the investigations and he also managed to oppose bail, until the case was finalised on October 27, 2019. Schalkwyk had his hard work pay off when two of his rape cases ended in life imprisonment for the two accused,” said Queenstown Cluster Commander, Major General Funeka Siganga.

The state will oppose the bail of the 29-year-old arrested in October for the rape of six young girls between ages six and 11 years at Maqhashu Administrative Area. He raped the girls on their way to school, the Cacadu Magistrate Court heard last week Wednesday. The bail hearing will be on November 22, 2019.

The suspect had threatened to kill the girls if they reported the incident. One of the parents noticed suspicious symptoms from her child and called the police. 

Mziyanda Mbedla (24) was given a life sentence in the Cala Regional Court for the rape of a nine-year-old girl in 2017. In October 2017, three girls who had gone to fetch dry cow dung for making fire were accosted by an unknown man near dongas in the village of Mbhenge in the district of Cala. Two of the girls managed to run away, but the eldest of them, aged nine, was cornered and raped by Mbedla. The suspect had been at the girl’s home earlier in the day to borrow a saw.

He fled Mbhenge village and his job at the local hardware shop. It took the police almost two years to trace him to his remote home village of Gobhoti, in the neighbouring district of Ngcobo. Mbedla, who was also linked to the crime through DNA, pleaded guilty.


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