A Daantjie 40-year-old man who spent three years kidnapping and raping women at gunpoint at graveyards, abandoned buildings and a church yard, has been handed down seven life sentences and 83 years imprisonment.
In sentencing, Judge Takalane Ratshivhumo told the court that the accused failed to show remorse to the victims for his actions.
Between January 2011 and November 2014, Elvis Aaron Zulu raped at least nine women, one of them a minor.
“The accused would target his victims at gunpoint, take them to a nearby house and rape them. He would sometimes take his victims to a nearby graveyard, rape them and rob them of their belongings like cellphones and cash. These crimes were carried out in Pienaar, in the KwaBokweni district,” said spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority in Mpumalanga, Monica Nyuswa.
The NPA said three other victims were gang raped by the accused and his co-perpetrators.
“In one of the incidents in January 30, 2011, a 38-year-old woman was on her way to the shop when Zulu approached and and started speaking to her. While they were talking, he grabbed her at a nearby abandoned house at gunpoint and raped her more than once. Zulu released the victim the following day and gave her taxi fare to travel back home,” Nyuswa said.
In another incident, 10 months later, a woman was at the Msogwaba cemetery when the accused and his co-perpetrator emerged.
Brandishing a knife and a firearm, the men laid the woman on a grave and gang-raped her on a tombstone.
The NPA said the accused’s rape spree came to light in November 2014, after he and his accomplices accosted another victim at Pienaar.
“They took a victim’s cellphone and dragged her to Hope of the Nations Ministry Church and raped her taking turns. The accused was arrested after one of the victims was able to identify him to the police. Buccal swabs were taken and positively linked him with other rape cases.
“He pleaded not guilty in court and claimed consent from the victim who identified him,“ Nyuswa added.
She said evidence in the form of the women’s testimonies, was led by State advocate Tshepo Mahasha along with DNA evidence linking Zulu to the rapes and victim impact statements.
The reports, facilitated by court preparation officer Nomfundo Mokoena, detailed how the women suffered at the hands of the accused.
Zulu was sentenced to seven life terms and 83 years imprisonment. The court declared the accused unfit to possess a firearm and ordered his name to be entered into the National Register for Sex Offenders and declared unfit to work with children.