COSATU welcomes paramedic rape case verdict and sentences
The Congress of South African Trade Unions welcomes and supports the
maximum sentences imposed on two convicted rapists, found guilty of
raping at gunpoint two paramedics who were on their way to respond to an
emergency call in Durban Deep, Roodepoort, in March 2010.
We fully agree with the judge, Erica Wiener, that there were absolutely
no mitigating circumstances to justify anything less than the maximum
that the law allows - eight life sentences, four for each of the two
culprits, Richard Tshifhiwa Luruli and Michael Khorombi.
On the contrary their laughing and joking during the incident indicated
a total disregard for the suffering of their victims or the toddler with
burn wounds who they were rushing to help.
As well as eight counts of rape, they were also found guilty of robbery
with aggravating circumstances, unlawful possession of a firearm, and
two counts of compelling another to commit a sexual offence. COSATU
salutes this passer-by who was forced at gunpoint to rape the two women
but only pretended to do so and was beaten as a result.
COSATU congratulates the police investigating team, the lawyers and the
judge for their excellent work to bring these monsters to justice, and
we earnestly hope that the harsh sentence sends out a strong signal to
society that such brutal violation of women's basic right to safety and
to be treated with dignity and respect is not going to be tolerated a
The federation also calls for better protection for workers. Paramedics
are defined 'essential service workers' and in return for being banned
from striking, society owes it to them that they should be able to
perform their life-saving duties in safety, without fear of attacks like
COSATU recommits itself to the struggle against the intolerable levels
of violence and abuse of women and children, which is a national
Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street
Tel: +27 11 339-4911 or Direct: +27 10 219-1339
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456