A traditional leader in the Mthatha region, in the Eastern Cape,  has been sentenced to life imprisonment for raping two teenagers.

The 32-year-old, Avelile Sakhisizwe Mtirara, whose area of authority covers Khonqeni and Xhongorha villages, was found guilty of repeatedly raping the teenagers between 2016 and 2017.

The court heard that he would call each victim to his rondavel and rape them before threatening to kill them if they disclose the sexual assault.

The regional spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA),  Luxolo Tyali, commended the Bityi regional court and the work done by police and the prosecution.

He abused his position and trust; and abused these young girls who were staying there. He was supposed to protect them. As the chief, he is expected to protect his family and the community at large.  As the prosecution, we welcome this sentencing and we think it shows that we will prosecute without fear of favour, even if someone holds a senior position in the society.”