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A Khayelitsha serial rapist, who admitted to abducting and raping 11 young girls and strangling one to death because she would not stop crying, was sentenced to 11 life terms yesterday.
Western Cape High Court Judge Thandazwa Ndita described Soyisiso Nofemele, 26 as a sex predator who had a “sick and disgusting mind”.
On Monday last week, Nofemele pleaded guilty to 12 counts of rape, 12 of abduction and one of murder.
He confessed to abducting each of his victims, aged between two and eight, by luring them from their homes with the promise of chips and sweets before raping 11 of them. One of the girls was raped twice. His second-last victim was strangled to death when she did not stop crying, he admitted.
Judge Ndita said yesterday that Nofemele was a menace to society and should only be reintegrated if there were cogent reasons that rehabilitation had taken place.
“Your conduct can be described as nothing less than a predator, a pervert that preyed on young girls for a long time. Even after killing the complainant you continued undeterred and removed another child from the custody of her parent with the intent to rape her as set out in your plea,” Judge Ndita said.
The State called for life imprisonment to be imposed for each of the 12 counts of rape and one for the murder.
Instead, Judge Ndita took each count of rape and abduction together and handed down 11 life sentences. For the count of abduction, Nofemele was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
That girl was only abducted, and Nofemele’s plan to rape her was foiled when community members stopped him. He was arrested soon afterwards.
After court, a community spokesman, the Rev Templeton Mbekwa, said the sentence was justified: “We believe the State and the community have a long way to go to clear serial rapists and killers from our streets.”
Mbekwa said that if after serving 25 years in jail Nofemele was eligible for parole, society should not forget that he was human. “It’s difficult for serial rapists to rehabilitate, but we trust he will repent.”
Provincial police commissioner General Arno Lamoer, who was also in court, commended the investigators for the police work in the case.
“We are quite thrilled with the court’s decision, but it will never bring back what the children lost,” he said.