The High Court in Johannesburg sentenced Happy Mukwevho to five life terms and an additional 222 years imprisonment after convicting him on charges including rape, kidnapping, and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said Mukwevho was also sentenced for housebreaking with intent to rape, attempted robbery, possession of a dangerous weapon and pointing of what is believed to be a firearm.
“The court ordered the sentences to run concurrently and declared the accused (Mukwevho) unfit to possess a firearm,” according to NPA Gauteng regional spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane.
She said in February 2018 and in August 2020, Mukwevho unleashed his reign of terror in the community of Diepsloot.
“Mukwevho committed these offences in the company of his friends. Their mode of operation included breaking into the complainants’ places while they were asleep. They used a side cutter to break the chain,” Mjonondwane said.
“They would rape the women, and steal money, cellphones, and other valuables. One of the complainants was removed from her place and taken to a dumping site where she was raped.”
Some of the victims of crime were familiar with Mukwevho.
“Mukwevho was arrested on November 1, 2021. He was linked by DNA, which was collected from the women who reported the rapes timeously to the police,” said Mjonondwane.
In arguing for a harsh sentence, senior State advocate, Adele De Klerk argued that none of Mukwevho’s circumstances were substantial and compelling.
De Klerk submitted that Mukwevho was “a hazardous person” and should be removed permanently from society.
“The NPA extends its gratitude to advocate Adele De Klerk and investigating officer, Warrant Officer Pule Chauke for ensuring that the accused faces the full might of the law,” said Mjonondwane.
“We hope that this sentence will send a clear message that crimes of this nature will not be tolerated.”
In September, IOL reported that the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court in Gauteng sentenced a 40-year-old Zimbabwean man to life imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to raping his 17-year-old biological daughter.
The father, whose name is withheld to protect the victim, raped the teenage girl for the first time in May 2022, and the ordeal continued until January this year.
At the time, Mjonondwane said the man called his daughter, who was based in Zimbabwe, to come to South Africa to assist her aunt, who had a newborn baby.
"After realising that she was not treated well at her aunt’s place, she (the girl) called her father to come and fetch her. On her first night at her father’s place, the father ordered her to share a bed with him," Mjonondwane said.