A Mpumalanga man who raped seven people between May and June 2018 has been slapped with two life sentences and a further 75 years. The man, who can’t be named due to the ages of some of his victim, was sentenced by the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court sitting at Graskop.
Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, of the Mpumalanga Police said the sentence was a cause for celebration as it has seen another rapist removed from the society. According to Hlathi, the man operated in the Sabie area and preyed on victims aged between 15 and 51.
He said investigations revealed that he would normally drag his victims from the streets then take them to the nearby bushes against their will. He would blindfold his victims with a cloth and instructed them not to look at him as he raped them.
“He would also make sure that he had covered his face with a balaclava throughout the whole drama. The court heard how the accused sadistically and violently subjected women to a terrific life in society. In his operation, the unapologetic rapist allegedly did not consider the pain and agony that his young and innocent victims were going through, let alone tarnishing their future. He carried out his evil mission, raping defenseless women and children armed with a knife,” said Hlathi.
He explained that seven cases of rape were registered by the police against the perpetrator’s name. Hlathi added that after the increasing outcry and mounting of rape cases in the area, the police conducted their probe and launched an intensive search for the suspect. He said they made a breakthrough in February 2019 and arrested the man.
“After a two-year trial he was slapped with two life sentences for the rape of two minors and a further 75 years imprisonment for the rape of five women. The court has ordered that for the purpose of sentence, the 75 years jail term will run concurrently with the two life sentences and the accused was also declared unfit to possess a firearm. Furthermore, his name will be entered into the register of sexual offenders, Hlathi said.
Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma said he was elated about the hefty sentence imposed upon the man. He also applauded the work done by the team of detectives, the prosecution team and the judiciary.
“Our efforts in the fight against criminal acts committed to women and children is surely yielding positive results. We are hopeful that this sentence will reassure women in the society of our endeavours to harshly deal with violence perpetuated by evil men who disregard women and treat them as objects to be punished,” he said.