WATCH: Serial rapist Sello Abram Mapunya gets five life terms, 988 years in prison
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Pretoria - In one of the longest sentences ever meted out in South African legal history, serial rapist Sello Abram Mapunya, was sentenced to five life terms as well as an additional 988 years imprisonment.
The Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, this week convicted him on 71 charges, which include 31 rape charges. The other charges are housebreaking and robbery.
Several of Mapunya's victims who were in court cheered and clapped hands as he hastily made his way down to the holding cells.
Some of the crying women hugged each other while others said "God is great.'"
Mapunya at a stage during sentencing, as the judge meted out one jail term after the other, showed his middle finger to Judge Papi Mosopa.
His hefty sentence followed after he ran a reign of terror in and around Pretoria for five years. His modis operandi was always the same - he broke into shacks and RDP houses in Atteridgeville, Mamelodi and Nellmapius, between 2am and 4am in the mornings.
He usually shone a torch into the face of his victim, before raping her. Some of the victims were raped in front of their children, others in front of their husbands or other family members. He even chased some victims out into the street, where he left them naked.
The victims and their families were helpless, as Mapunya was usually armed with either a firearm, knife or a screwdriver.
In some instances he raped his victims more than once and on other occasions he had an accomplice with him, who also raped the victims.
His youngest victim who was 14 when he raped her said, after his sentence, he had made their lives a nightmare, but they can thank God for his mercy by taking this evil man away for life.
Judge Masopa said he hoped this sentence will be a message to others who had the same ideas as Mapunya.
"You are not the type of person who is willing to live side by side with others in peace. You are hell bent on encroaching on the dignity of others," the judge said.
The judge also made it clear that he is not ordering any of these sentences to run concurrently.
One of the victims said that this victory is not just for the victims, but for the other women out there who may also have been raped by him.
"I believe we are not the only victims," she said. Mapunya, 33, pleaded not guilty to the more than 100 charges he was facing. He, however, had a change of heart in the middle of the state's case and decided to plead guilty to 71 charges.
While only one victim was able to see his face, he was mostly linked to the incidents via DNA evidence.
Although his rape and robbery spree stared in 2014, Mapunya was only arrested in 2019 in the Pretoria CBD. This was after the police traced a cellphone which he had robbed from one of his victims, to his girlfriend. She then pointed Mapunya out to the police.