Friday, 20 February 2015

Serial rapist guilty of 25 rapes.

Pretoria - Sentencing of a serial rapist who preyed on women in Mamelodi for five years was postponed by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Simone Antonio Sithole would hear his fate on Friday.
Serial rapist guilty of 25 rapes.
The 27-year-old Mozambican, who lived in Mamelodi East, was convicted on Wednesday on 45 charges.

He admitted to breaking into shacks in Mamelodi and Nellmapius between 2009 and 2013 and raping women and young girls.

The charges include 21 of rape, one of sexual assault, robbery with aggravating circumstances, pointing a firearm, and illegal possession of a firearm.

His youngest victim was 11 and three other victims 16 when he raped them.

All of his victims were threatened with a firearm or other weapons. Most were tied up before they were raped and robbed of cellphones, cash, clothes and jewellery.

One woman was breastfeeding her baby when he confronted her with an axe. Most of them were asleep when he entered their homes in the early hours of the morning.

Judge Moses Mavundla on Thursday said he first wanted to consider the sentences before passing them.

He remarked during legal argument that a life sentence would encompass all the crimes as all sentences would be served concurrently with a life term.

No deterrent value

The prosecution pointed out a life sentence meant Sithole, who was considered a danger to society, would become eligible for parole after 25 years in prison.

Mavundla wanted to know why Sithole should be advantaged because of this.

He expressed concern that a life-long sentence seemed to have "absolutely no deterrent value".

"All that happens is an escalation of a wave of these kind of crimes," he said.

Counsel for Sithole argued that all his sentences should run concurrently as he had not wasted the court's time and admitted guilt.

Mavundla remarked that people sometimes admitted guilt because they had no other choice.

"The accused went on a criminal spree from June 2009 and it went on and on and on.

"He had a girlfriend but this was not enough for him. He went on these escapades year after year.

"The fact that people come from Mozambique to contribute to South Africa's economy is no licence to commit crime... He must go to jail for a long time," Mavundla said.

The investigating officer, Warrant Officer Hendrik Visser, testified that it had been difficult to find Sithole as there was not much evidence against him. Sithole was found using a victim's cellphone and arrested in March 2013.

Visser testified that DNA tests, which linked Sithole to all 21 of the rapes, could only be performed after his arrest. - SAPA
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