Mthobisi ‘Mthoba’ Mnyandu was sentenced to five terms of life imprisonment and an additional 68 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances and kidnapping.
Durban - A serial rapist received five life terms after claiming he saw nothing wrong with raping young women.

Mthobisi “Mthoba” Mnyandu, 31, said he was not taught to respect women. Having an absent mother, he was raised by his grandmother and had an abusive uncle who often assaulted his girlfriend.

He showed no remorse when sentenced in the Durban High Court on Monday.

Four of his victims were minors at the time of the rapes.

He was sentenced to a further 30 years for the rapes of two other adult women, 23 years for eight counts of kidnapping and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances - crimes which dated back to 2010. The total of 68 years would run concurrently with the life sentences.

Mnyandu had tormented the young women in Inanda and Kwa­Dabeka.

He admitted during his trial that he would probably still be targeting young girls if it was not for the DNA evidence that linked him to rape and kidnapping cases being investigated by police in KwaDabeka and Inanda.

Mnyandu had claimed all the women were his girlfriends.

Judge Mokgere Masipa said the courts had the responsibility of keeping people like Mnyandu away from society.

Mnyandu’s lawyer, Emanuel Chiliza, had argued that Mnyandu had not killed his victims and urged the court to consider his personal circumstances and upbringing to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentences.

Masipa, however, found that Mnyandu’s defence - that he was not taught to respect women as his uncle always assaulted his girlfriend - did not give him the right to mistreat women.

She said his mother, who had realised he was a slow learner, had done everything to ensure that he was enrolled at a special school, which he later dropped out of, in Grade 7.

“You were raised by two women who obviously cared for you, but you chose to show disrespect to the young women you targeted in public. The courts have the responsibility to send you away for a very long time because people look to the courts for protection,” said Masipa.

In their victim impact statements, the women detailed the trauma the rape had caused them.

One described how Mnyandu had approached her, forced her to an isolated area, forced her to remove her clothes and raped her.

Two other victims said their dreams of becoming doctors were dashed when they were forced to drop out of school because they could not cope after the trauma of being raped.

Others spoke of a fear of being around men, a lack of trust, fear of being alone and of having no desire for sex or to have children.

Those who attended counselling said they were not healing because they were still trying to come to terms with their ordeal.

Mnyandu had admitted to using false names to avoid being caught or traced by his victims.

While police in Inanda were looking for a man known as Njabulo to the victims, police in KwaDabeka were searching for a man named Vusi.

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