By Jonk wa Mashamba
Serial rapist from Tembisa, Gift Mkhwanazi was sentenced to 12 life imprisonment plus over 300 years by the High Court of South Africa Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg.
He was sentenced today for a spate of rapes committed in and around Tembisa from 2013 to June 2019.
The infamous Mkhwanazi, dubbed the Beast of Tembisa, was charged with 104 counts ranging from rape, kidnapping, pointing of a firearm, robbery with aggravating circumstances, assault and attempted murder.
According to Phindi Mjonondwane, Nap
Regional Spokesperson, the South African Police Service (SAPS) had registered more than 19 dockets with the same modus operandi where women were attacked on the streets at night or early hours of the morning.
Mjonondwane said the women could not identify the perpetrator as he accosted them from behind, pointed them with a firearm or knife to force them into bushes or secluded areas.
“Once there, he would rob them of their cash and cell phones and thereafter, rape them.
“Mkhwanazi was arrested following one of his friends, found in possession of one of the complainant’s cell phone. He was further linked through DNA that was extracted from one crime scene and complainants.
“The accused testified that he does not know any of the witnesses that testified in court.
“He admitted the DNA report, but failed to give an explanation as to why the DNA found on 17 victims and one crime scene matched his DNA. He further denied that he ever raped, kidnapped or robbed the witnesses and that he never had a knife or firearm in his possession,”said Mjonondwane.
The State Advocate, Adele De Klerk submitted that there exists no evidence to substantiate any finding that any of the witnesses conspired with other witnesses to implicate the accused.
“There similarly exists no inherent improbabilities that militates against the acceptance of the state witnesses’ evidence,” De Klerksaid pleading with the court to reject the accused version.
Mjonondwane said the NPA commends Detective Sergeant Mangwale and Advocate De Klerk for successfully removing this serial rapist from society.