The intervention of a state prosecutor and the investigative work of an Elliot detective has led to lengthy jail terms for two men convicted of the sexual abuse and robbery of an 80-year-old woman from the town.
In a statement, police spokesman Warrant Officer Moitheri Bojabotseha indicated that two men had broken into a house at Takalani in Elliot at 4am on December 3, 2015. Inside was a grandmother and her 10-year-old grandson and 2-year-old grandson.
The men demanded money and when the woman did not have any, they used a knife to threaten her. She was sexually abused with the children in the room.
Information led the police to identify the suspects who were from the same neighbourhood and they were arrested on charges of rape, housebreaking, theft and robbery.
The case was referred to the regional court where it remained on the roll for two years until a visit by Advocate and public prosecutor Nickey Turner who was at the Elliot court for administration work. When she saw the grandmother and her grandson at court, she interviewed them and the matter was taken to the Grahamstown High Court for prosecution.
On August 27 this year, both the accused were found guilty as charged.
Siphesihle Walaza received a life sentence for rape, 15 years for robbery and five years for housebreaking. Wandy July was sentenced to 12 years for rape, 10 years for robbery and five years for housebreaking.
Elliot cluster commander Colonel Matshidiso Gezani commended the investigating officer, identified only as Sergeant Ntleki, for her hard work and for collecting evidence which led to the convictions. He also commended Turner for her professionalism in dealing with the case.