Activists celebrate Andile Ngcoza’s 22 year sentence outside the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday

Activists celebrate Andile Ngcoza’s 22 year sentence outside the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (Pic: FreeGender)

The monster who was on the run for two years after raping and nearly killing a Gugulethu lesbian woman near Cape Town has finally been sent to jail.

On Tuesday, Andile Ngcoza was sentenced by Magistrate Melinda Retief to 22 years in prison for raping, beating and strangling Millicent Gaika, who survived the five hour April 2010 ordeal.

Ngcoza had already been found guilty by the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court back in 2011, but he was out on R60 bail at the time and failed to appear in court for his sentencing.

He remained on the run until September when he was re-arrested following a prolonged campaign by activists. They held protests and distributed pamphlets urging the community to come forward with information about his whereabouts.

“I thought he was going to kill me; he was like an animal,” Gaika said after the attack. “And he kept saying: ‘I know you are a lesbian. You are not a man, you think you are, but I am going to show you, you are a woman. I am going to make you pregnant. I am going to kill you.’”

Magistrate Retief said she imposed the sentence because Ngcoza had not shown any remorse and she noted that he had been previously convicted of three sexual offences.

Funeka Soldaat from FreeGender, which championed Gaika’s case, told Mambaonline that the 22 year sentence was a victory for lesbian women and the criminal justice system.

Millicent Gaika shortly after her ordeal

Millicent Gaika shortly after her ordeal

“It was very fulfilling. We have been trying for a long time, and at last pay off.”

She said that Gaika, who attended the court proceedings, was initially nervous that the sentence would be a lenient one.

“It was only when the magistrate started to stay that we can’t allow men to continue hurting lesbians that we felt relieved. Now Millicent is very excited.”

Soldaat commented that during Ngcoza’s time on the run, Gaika never felt safe.

“She was fearful for her safety. She knew him since he was a kid. He was from her community so she never knew when he might come back and hurt her again.”

She added: “This sentence makes you believe that it’s okay to tell survivors to report their cases and take it to court. It gives confidence to organisations and to the survivors of these crimes.”

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