Thohoyandou - The Thohoyandou High Court on Thursday imposed several life sentences on Kenneth Manabela who kidnapped and raped teenage girls at Mbokota village near Makhado in Limpopo.

Police spokesman Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the 31-year-old Manabela  terrorised girls in Mbokota, Bungeni and Chavani outside Makhado. Manabela was arrested in 2011 and released on bail, but continued to kidnap and rape girls.

The high court found him guilty on seven counts of rape and six counts of kidnapping. His victims were aged between 13 and 18-years-old.

''He received five life sentences for five counts of rape, twenty years for two counts and 30 years for six counts of kidnapping. These long jail terms followed his first arrest on November 2011 for two rape cases where he appeared before the  Waterval Margistrate's Court and later released on bail, of which he continued with his reign of terror raping defenseless girls,'' said Ngoepe.

''He was again arrested in December 2012 for two counts of kidnapping and 2 counts of rapes and he was again released on bail by the Hlanganani Magistrate's Court. He continued with his evil deeds of raping women until he was arrested for the third time in March 2017 after he met an 18 -year-old girl along the street in Mbokota. Afterwards he forced her to his homestead at knife point and raped her.''

Provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Nneke Jim Ledwaba welcomed the sentence.

''We hope that the jail terms will bring a relief to those affected, especially now that the heartless criminal will be where he belongs for his entire life.''

African News Agency (ANA)