IPID bags 18 years imprisonment conviction for rape in police custody

As a result of an investigation conducted by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), Warrant Officer Mhlobo Ishmael Mpela has been found guilty and sentenced to 18 years’ direct imprisonment last week by the Mthatha Regional court. 

IPID investigated this law enforcement official as empowered by Section 28(1)(e) of the IPID Act, for rape in Police custody. The allegation was that Warrant Officer Mpela was on night duty, posted in police cells where the awaiting trial inmates are kept, he was together with his female counterpart.

The investigation conducted by IPID revealed that the suspect instructed the female colleague to attend to an accident, when she left he immediately went to a female cell called the victim under pretense that she had a phone call. The victim who was an awaiting trial inmate was already sleeping when she was called. The warrant officer instructed the victim to go to a store room, he followed her, closed the door and forced himself to the victim. The victim screamed for help but unfortunately the CSC is about 30m from the cells and no one could hear and help her.

The victim fought whilst the suspect was taking off her tracksuits. He tried to penetrate her but the victim put her hand on her vagina preventing the officer to penetrate her, as reported the officer then pressed her against the chair which was next to the wall and penetrated her from her anus. After that, he put his penis inside the victim's mouth but the victim closed the mouth.

The victim reported the matter the following morning, then it was brought to the attention of IPID. The suspect was arrested by the IPID official, later he was released on bail. The matter was handled by the Mthatha Regional court which found the officer guilty and sentenced to a period of 18 years’ direct imprisonment.

Enquiries: Ndileka Cola
Director Communication and Marketing
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID)
Tel: 012 319 0092
Cell: 073 376 8758
E-mail: ncola@ipid.gov.za