Two of the three men who raped a pregnant woman due to their “ghetto life” received life sentences in the Eastern Cape High Court on Monday.
Kevin Campbell, 24, and Elvis Nelson, 25, were both sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape, and another five years for the robbery of a 37-year-old woman on February 15, 2009, Captain Mali Govender said.
A third man, Clayton Donovan Arends, 18, was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment for rape and another five years for robbery.
All the sentences would run concurrently.
“The youngest of the trio apologised for what they had done to her, attributing their actions to the ‘ghetto life’ they led. He also mentioned to her that this was the only way that they could have gotten a ‘white bitch’.”
The woman was walking with a man in Port Alfred near the local SPCA when they were attacked by the three, one of whom was armed with a panga. The trio demanded drugs and money from the man.
“He was threatened by Elvis [Nelson] that he will be killed and that his arms will be cut off. Clayton Arends then first hit him with the blunt edge of the panga and after realising his mistake he hit him with the sharp edge,” said Govender.
The woman ran away and hid in the bush. Her male companion hit Arends in the face before escaping.
“In an attempt to get the suspects away from the female victim, he called out to them that he had a cellphone and R600 cash with him.”
Despite this the three found the woman and took turns raping her.
‘Lucky’ her life was spared
“She begged and pleaded for them to stop, but this was in vain. She was strangled on several occasions to stop her from making a noise and [drawing] attention. She also told them that she was pregnant and this also fell on deaf ears.”
The two older men left after they heard barking dogs and believed the police had arrived.
Arends told the woman he would lead her out of the bush. As soon as they reached a clearing, the woman ran away. She flagged down a passing police vehicle.
The three were identified and arrested soon after. They were convicted of the rape and robbery on December 11 last year.
In an interview before the sentencing, Campbell said he expected a life term. Nelson believed, because he had maintained his innocence, that he would be given a lighter sentence.
“They also mentioned that the victim was very ‘lucky’ as her life had been spared.”
According to Govender, the 37-year-old woman told her: “I am glad that they all got high sentences. I am so relieved. What they got is what they deserve.”