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Johannesburg - A 33-year-old man charged with the rapes of no less than 60 women and girls - the youngest three 12-year-old girls - has pleaded guilty to raping 29 of his victims.

Plea proceedings and the charge sheet read out against Bongani Given Thulani Lucky Masuku on Wednesday at the North Gauteng High Court, sitting at the Benoni Magistrate’s Court, revealed a dark tale of a home burglar and serial rapist who was part of a gang that targeted homes around Soshanguve in Pretoria, as well as Winterveld, Itsoseng and Ikageng in North West.

After forcing entry into homes, members of the gang would take turns raping the youngest women or girls while assaulting, shooting and robbing other relatives.

Masuku’s crime spree started in 2010 and ended last year when he was caught in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria.

The Star understands that some of Masuku’s accomplices were nabbed and jailed, while he evaded police and continued terrorising communities.

He cut a lonely figure in court on Wednesday, where he opted to admit to the crimes he remembered committing.

Masuku listened attentively and sought clarity about some of the crimes he was charged with. At one point, he asked why the charge sheet did not entail addresses of where he allegedly committed the crimes.

After it was explained to him that some of them were committed in open spaces, he seemed to recall and pleaded guilty.

Proceedings were expected to continue on Thursday as the 126 counts detailed in a 68-page charge sheet against Masuku were just too many for the court to go through in one day. He was expected to plead to more rapes, aggravated assaults and attempted murders.

Masuku also faces a count of murdering an off-duty policeman in January 2018. The policeman was walking home with a woman when he was shot and left to die in a veld, while the woman was raped.

Police arrested Masuku after a tip-off that he had been spotted in Atteridgeville. They had been looking for him since 2015, after his accomplices were brought to book.

The Star