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Cape Town - A serial rapist who targeted women on their way to GF Jooste Hospital in Manenberg has been given a life sentence plus 44 years.
Vuyisile Stofile, 32, was convicted in the Western Cape High Court in mid-May of four counts of rape and six of robbery with aggravated circumstances stemming from incidents that took place between April and September 2012.
Stofile used the same modus operandi in almost all the incidents: he targeted women near Nyanga Junction as they were on their way to the hospital at about 6am on weekdays.
He would lure them to a secluded, bushy area, telling them that it was dangerous to walk on the road from Nyanga Junction to the main entrance of the hospital and that he knew a safer route.
Three of his victims – two of whom were pregnant at the time – were robbed and raped. The others were robbed.
“The accused’s crimes were planned. He treated his victims with violence and indignity,” said Judge Ashton Schippers in handing down Stofile’s sentence on Tuesday.
“He was a threat to the security of every woman at Nyanga
Junction. He struck at the security of all his victims. And he violated the rights of his victims to privacy, dignity and physical integrity.”
Stofile had preyed on women from disadvantaged backgrounds, robbing them of their cellphones and small amounts of money of as little as R6. This, however, had been all they had had.
Judge Schippers took into account not only the nature and seriousness of the crimes, but also Stofile’s personal circumstances and the interests of society in sentencing him.
According to testimony by the head of the police’s investigative psychology unit, Brigadier Gerard Labuschagne, the only way to guarantee the safety of women was to incarcerate Stofile for a lengthy period.
“He was clear that women should not be placed at risk of becoming a victim of the accused,” the judge said. “He also said there had been a massive increase in serial rapes. In the last three months of 2013 alone, (the police) identified over 400 serial rapists.”
Among Stofile’s personal circumstances was that he was married with two children and had a clean record. However, Judge Schippers also said Stofile had expressed no remorse and that the prospects for his rehabilitation were extremely remote.
Judge Schippers found no compelling circumstances to justify a deviation from the prescribed minimum sentences of 10 years imprisonment for two of the rapes and life for the other as the victim had been raped twice (anally and vaginally). Stofile was sentenced to life behind bars for the one rape incident, and an effective 44 years for the other counts.
The National Prosecuting Authority said: “We believe it sends a stern warning to rapists that the violation of women’s privacy, dignity and physical integrity will not be tolerated.”