16 Days of Activism: Rapist who targeted neighbours on farm sentenced

The rapes took place on a farm in Klawer. Picture: Leon Lestrade/ Independent Newspapers

The rapes took place on a farm in Klawer. Picture: Leon Lestrade/ Independent Newspapers

Published Dec 5, 2023


A rapist from Klawer in the Western Cape has been sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in the Vredendal Regional Court.

Henro Oktober was convicted on charges of housebreaking with intent to rape and two counts of rape.

The provincial spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Eric Ntabazalila said the conviction and sentence follow incidents that took place at Botlary Farm, Klawer, in May and October 2021, where the accused followed two women neighbours, on different occasions, to their homes, raped them, went home, and slept, pretending like nothing had happened.

In his plea and sentencing agreement, Oktober confessed that on the evening of May 6, 2021, he was with his parents, his girlfriend and the first victim and they were drinking alcohol but were not too drunk.

The woman decided to go home, which is situated on the same farm not far from his parents’ home.

Oktober said he waited 30 minutes before following the woman to her house. At the time his parents and girlfriend were asleep.

He broke into the woman’s home, found her asleep with her baby, undressed her and raped her. She woke up and called out his name, but he did not respond. He left and went to sleep at his parents' house. The following morning the woman told his mother she had been raped by Oktober and the mother advised her to file charges against him.

In the second incident, Oktober said his parents, girlfriend and the victim were drinking while he was smoking dagga on the stoep on October 23, 2021.

He claimed the woman accused him of stealing her belongings and he denied the allegations. She then went to her house where she fetched two knives and allegedly attempted to stab him. Oktober said he disarmed the woman and she went home.

His parents and girlfriend went to sleep and he followed the woman home with the intent of returning her knives. She stayed on the same farm not far from his parents’ home.

When he gained entry into the home, he changed his mind, grabbed the woman by her neck with both his hands and choked her and dragged her to the bedroom where he raped her. After the incident, he went back to his parents' house to sleep. The following morning the woman told his girlfriend he had raped her.

Oktober told the court he was fully aware of his actions during both rapes, despite having consumed alcohol or consumed drugs and still proceeded to commit the crimes.

He claimed to have apologised to both victims through his family and claimed he was remorseful.

The State argued that rape was always a serious offence to commit and Oktober has been charged with crimes that had lasting effects on the lives of the victims.

The court sentenced Oktober to 25 years imprisonment and ordered that he serve at least two-thirds of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

He was further declared unfit to possess a firearm.

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