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Johannesburg - A 32-year-old serial rapist was sentenced to 15 life imprisonment sentences plus a further 105 years’ imprisonment, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Friday.

Kito Christopher Malumbele was convicted by the High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday on a total of 52 counts which included 12 counts of rape; two counts of accomplice to rape; one count of compelled rape; three counts of causing a person older than 18 years to witness a sexual offence; 17 counts of kidnapping; 16 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances; and one count of possession of a firearm.

Spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwande said the man started his reign of terror in Tshepisong, Kagiso on April 26, 2014 and continued his rape-and-robbing-spree for almost two years.  

The investigating officer received one of the cases in 2016, not knowing that there were 13 more cases. He traced the accused by using the telephone records of the victim’s robbed cell phone.  

He arrested the Malumbele on June 7, 2016, after his DNA was positively linked to the case that was investigated, and the Forensic Science Laboratory issued an investigative lead report that linked Malumbele to 13 more cases.

"The accused ambushed his victims and held them at knife point while dragging them into open fields. There he would rob them of their belongings and rape them," said Mjonondwane. 

"In some of the cases, the accused and his accomplice raped the daughters and mothers in one another’s company. In one of the cases, the court heard that the accused forced one of his victims to lay down her baby whom she carried on her back and raped her while her baby was crying right next to them." 

She said in aggravation of sentence the State Advocate Nerissa Muller presented the evidence from a caaptain from the Investigative Phycology Unit of the police who classified the accused as a serial rapist and testified that rape was deeply damaging and results in serious long-term psychological trauma for the victim.

According to the captain, during her interview with Malumbele, he still vehemently denied that he committed these crimes and instead claimed that he might have had consensual sex with some of the victims. According to her, Malumbele said he does not recognise the names and faces of these women as they were "one night stands".  

"The horrific aftermath for the victims were described in detail in their victim impact statements which was read into the record by State Advocate Nerissa Muller during the sentencing procedure. Most of the victims are still intensely traumatised, can’t walk alone in the streets and does not trust any man. Some of them lost their jobs as a result of the trauma that they are unable to deal with," said Mjonondwane.

Mjonondwane said they welcomed the sentence with the hope that it will serve as a deterrent to like-minded rapists who intent targeting defenceless women.

African News Agency (ANA)