A priest, who is a Zimbabwean national, Lucas Chauke (50) was sentenced to two life terms for murder and rape by the North West High Court. Chauke also received a cumulative 30 years on two other counts of murder and rape.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in North West, Henry Mamothame said, Chauke was illegal in the country. Mamothame further said, the court also declared him unfit to possess a firearm.
“Chauke’s murder emanates from an incident that occurred on 8 October 20217 in Temba, wherein he met a 53-year-old woman known to him, as he was known to be a priest in the area. He then took her to a secluded place near a dam, under the pretense of assisting her with her spirituality.
“Upon arrival, he repeatedly raped her and subsequently tied her to a tree, before fleeing the scene. After a while, she managed to untie herself and ran to ask for help,” he said.
Mamothame further said, the victim managed to report the incident to the police, who then started searching for the accused. He added that Chauke was sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape.
“In a separate incident that occurred on 10 May 2018, he took a 55-year-old woman to the same secluded area next to the dam, raped her, and tied her to a tree before fleeing the scene.
“Her decomposed body was later discovered still tied to the tree, as she was unable to set herself free. He was sentenced to life for murder and a further 15 years for rape,” said Mamothame.
He said on 3 August 2018, Chauke took another woman (55) to the same place and attempted to rape her, but seemingly failed. Mamothame said he then tied her to a tree and left her to die.
“Chauke was sentenced to 15 years for murder. He was eventually arrested, and linked through DNA specimens to all other incidents,” he said.
In aggravation of sentence, the state prosecutor, Adv Benny Kalakgosi urged the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence, as the offenses committed were serious. Kalakgosi further argued that Chauke took advantage of unsuspecting women, who trusted him as a priest.
Judge Frances Snyman agreed with the state and described Chauke’s actions as horrific and further alluded to the trust that he abused towards women who held him high.
The Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West, Dr Rachel Makhari Sekhaolelo lauded the prosecutor and the investigation team from the SAPS for a successful conviction.
“We welcome this conviction, especially at a time when we are reflecting on the plight of women during the 16 Days of Activism. This fight needs to be activated 365 to be victorious against this scourge,” she concluded.
In one way, we have all become used to stories of priests doing horrific things.
I don’t know if this particular priest was an RC, an Anglican, or a priest of some other Church.
Maybe readers can find that out?
But now and again, a story comes along that shocks us to the very root of our being.
This story is very horrifying.
Murder. Rape and tying women to trees until they escaped or died and decomposed.
And all done by a man who claims to represent God.
I don’t know if Chauke is Satanic and evil.
But his actions come straight out of the pits of Hell.
As so do the actions of any priest who totally destroyed lives 😞