Serial rapist, murderer sentenced to four life terms and 105 years in prison
Queenstown - A convicted serial rapist and murderer has been sentenced to four life imprisonment terms and further lengthy jail sentences on a number of charges in the Queenstown Regional Court, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Eastern Cape said.
A courtroom packed to the brim by community members, family members of victims, and survivors sighed with relief when Judge Mbulelo Jolwana sentenced convicted serial rapist Headman Mdyosi, 37, to four life terms and 105 years in prison, Captain Khaya Tonjeni said.
Mdyosi was found guilty on Thursday on six counts of rape, four of murder, and one count of attempted murder. Four young women from Ngcuka village in Lady Frere, aged between 20 and 24, were attacked, raped, and killed between April and December 2012. A 61-year-old woman was lucky to escape his assault after he tried to rape and kill her.
The cases were investigated "without luck and were closed as undetected after three years of unsuccessful investigation in 2015", Tonjeni said.
"The suspect continued with his raping spree in 2015 when he sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman on 15 May 2015. Although he raped and attacked her, the victim survived the ordeal."
It was after Mdyosi raped the 21-year-old sixth woman, who also survived, that police detectives finally arrested him on June 5, 2015 for rape. His DNA profile positively linked him to the murder and rape of the four women in Lady Frere.
"The suspect committed these heinous crimes while he was on parole for three offences of theft, housebreaking, and murder, found guilty and sentenced in 2002 to 18 years in prison. He was released on parole in 2010, but his sentence had since been reinstated since he violated his parole conditions."
Mdyosi was sentenced to four life sentences for the murders, and a minimum of 15 years for each rape. He received a further 15 years for the attempted murder, making a total of 105 years in prison, Tonjeni said.
Handing down the sentence, Jolwana said, “He is not allowed to be among the members of the community and had no sign of remorse throughout the course of the trial.”
Eastern Cape police commissioner Lt-Gen Liziwe Ntshinga welcomed the sentences. “We continue to give our full support to a fruitful collaborative effort between the SAPS investigators, the prosecution, and the courts. I cannot leave out the important role of family, victims, and survivors who continue to provide crucial evidence that resulted in a successful conviction.
"We are convinced that this sentence sends a chilling message to other sexual offenders and criminals who are still out there hurting innocent people; the long arm of the law is not short enough not to reach where you are hiding yourselves,” Ntshinga said.
- African News Agency (ANA), editing by Jacques Keet