Rapist grins, thanks magistrate, after getting 5 life terms

2015-09-17 10:46


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Pietermaritzburg - A 42-year-old man described as a “manipulative and cruel” rapist, kidnapper and fraudster, was on Wednesday handed five life terms plus jail sentences totalling 38 years and three months in the Pietermaritzburg regional court.

Wonder Njabulo Myeni, who has no fixed address, sat in the dock with closed eyes, chewing his nails and picking his teeth as judgment was delivered against him in connection with 18 charges.

He was acquitted of one rape charge, and found guilty on 17 other counts including rape, fraud, kidnapping, malicious injury to property, and impersonating a police officer.

After sentence was pronounced, he jumped up grinning and said, “Thank you. Thank you.”

Sentence 'not too bad'

As he was led away to the cells, Myeni told a court orderly that his sentence “was not too bad” as he would only serve 15 years. However, his life terms mean he would probably have to serve 25 years before being considered for parole.

Regional court magistrate Chris van Vuuren said the extent to which Myeni had manipulated, abused and controlled his victims was “simply staggering”.

Some of the women he raped were lured with the promise that he would secure jobs for them at the Msunduzi Municipality, knowing he could not do so. They, or family members who were keen to help their loved ones, paid him sums of money ranging from R650 to R2 800 to secure jobs, but their hopes were dashed and the money never seen again.

Instead, the women were raped and, in some instances, beaten.

Only one fraud victim was a man.

Three of the charges related to Myeni kidnapping his victims and keeping them locked up to rape at will, for periods as long as three months.

Van Vuuren said the extent of the ill-treatment of his victims left one “sickened at the thought of what a fellow human being can do to another”.

Motivated by 'greed, lust and sheer malice'

He said Myeni was apparently motivated by “greed, lust and sheer malice”.

Van Vuuren said in one case the rape victim was forced to watch pornography and re-enact the scenes with Myeni. He would beat her if not satisfied with her performance.

He also burnt a victim’s clothing, forced another to burn photographs of her child, perform “lurid sexual acts”, and beat her.

Van Vuuren said Myeni’s actions were carefully planned, demonstrated by his impersonation of a police officer to get close to his victim.

He had lulled her into believing he was a policeman, and asked her to help him to track down a rape suspect.

When he had her in his grip, he raped her, together with an unknown second man he had summoned by telephone.

Van Vuuren acquitted Myeni of one charge of rape because the victim said she passed out after being given a drink by Myeni. She woke up the next day, naked, in bed with him.

The woman could not be certain if she had been raped, although she suspected this was the case and reported it to a doctor and the police.

The life sentences were imposed in connection with five rapes that involved violence.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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