File pic
PORT ELIZABETH - A man regarded by police as one of South Africa's "worst serial rapists", Lonwabo Solontsi, was sentenced to an indefinite period of imprisonment by the Grahamstown High Court on Friday following his conviction on 39 counts of rape.

Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender described Solontsi, 29, as the country's worst serial rapist. His victims were female from age 11 to 46 and according to Govender the offences took place between November 2010 and July 2015 and spanned over three provinces, namely the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and the North West Province.  

He was also found guilty on seven counts of robbery, 14 counts of aggravated robbery, four counts of house breaking with intent to rape, and three counts of housebreaking with intent to rape and robbery.  

Solontsi has two previous convictions of rape. 

In passing down sentence, Judge Thamie Beshe said that she would have imposed 12 life sentences and a total of 706 years imprisonment, however she sentenced him to jail indefinitely. 

"The accused is declared a dangerous criminal. He is sentenced to undergo imprisonment for an indefinite period. It is ordered that he be brought before a court at the expiration of 25 years for consideration of his sentence in terms of Section 286 (B)(2)." 

Beshe subsequently dismissed Solntsi's leave to appeal. 

In sentencing Judge Beshe acknowledged "the hard work and commitment of the investigators, including the coordination of the DNA."  

During an interview, investigating officer Sergeant Sizwe Gaika said: "It was a very challenging case. I had the assistance of Advocate Turner every step of the way. I'm very happy with the outcome as all my hard work paid off." 

African News Agency/ANA