A 31-year-old Gauteng man who was convicted of rape, housebreaking, theft, attempted murder, and other serious crimes was sentenced to five life terms of imprisonment and over 600 years of direct imprisonment.
The National Prosecuting Authority said Neo Clifford Mashilo from Soshanguve was convicted in the Pretoria High Court.
Between 2016 and 2019, Mashilo terrorised the Soshanguve community.
Provincial NPA spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said Mashilo would use the same modus operandi.
"He would break into the complainants’ houses, rob them of their belongings, and rape females from those houses.
"During this period, he broke into 17 households late at night, around block P in Soshanguve.
"He sometimes raped his victims in the presence of their children, and the oldest of his victims was an 80-year-old woman."
His reign of terror came to an end on July 13, 2019, when police arrested him on a charge of attempted murder.
In court, Mashilo pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against him and asked the court, through his legal representative, to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence because he had been in custody since his arrest.
However, State Prosecutor Advocate Thembile Nyakama handed in victim impact statements from eight victims who told the court how these incidents had emotionally, mentally, and financially impacted them.
Nyakama argued that Mashilo showed no remorse and did not offer any apologies through his attorney to the victims.
The presiding officer agreed with the State.
Mashilo was sentenced as follows on the 45 charges:
– Five life terms and 95 years of direct imprisonment for 10 counts of rape.
– 260 years of direct imprisonment for 13 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances
– 255 years of indirect imprisonment for 17 counts of housebreaking.
– 10 years of direct imprisonment for attempted murder.
– 10 years of direct imprisonment for attempted robbery
– 10 years of direct imprisonment for theft of a motor vehicle.
– 10 years of direct imprisonment for possession of an unlicensed semi-automatic firearm
– One year of direct imprisonment for possession of ammunition.
"The judge also ordered that his name be added to the National Register for Sexual Offenders.
"The Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi, welcomes the sentence in hopes that it will send a message that crimes against vulnerable groups in society will not be tolerated," concluded Mahanjana.