Sentencing delayed as convicted serial rapist fires his lawyer

2017-03-22 12:41
The Sobantu rapist fired his lawyer delaying his sentencing.

The Sobantu rapist fired his lawyer delaying his sentencing. (File)

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Convicted serial rapist Bongani Sipho Mdunge (41) fired his lawyer on Monday, delaying sentencing in his case.

Mdunge, from Sobantu, was found guilty by Judge Jerome Mnguni, sitting with an assessor, last week of a total of 17 counts of robbery or attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances and of raping six different women.

At the previous hearing he became disruptive shortly before the judgment was finalised and eventually had to be removed from the courtroom by orderlies.

The drama started when he began shouting that the judgment was “unfair” and the judge was “talking nonsense”.

He resisted attempts by the orderlies to calm him down.

Judge Mnguni eventually concluded the judgment in his absence, finding him guilty on all charges.

Apart from evidence by the victims, identifying him as their assailant, Mdunge’s DNA was found to link him to three of the rape charges.

He was found guilty of attacking and raping six victims between the ages of 19 and 25 years at knifepoint. Some of the women were raped more than once.

The court found that his modus operandi was to lure the victims with promises of helping them to find employment.

The rapes were all committed in broad daylight and occurred in the Pietermaritzburg area between March 2014 and February 2015.

Mdunge was already on bail in connection with three of the rape charges when he raped the last three victims, according to the evidence.

The case against Mdunge was postponed until Monday for evidence to be led in mitigation and aggravation of sentence.

However, before the case started Mdunge informed his attorney, Mbongeni Mathonsi, that he was not happy with his services and wanted to hire a new lawyer.

He told the judge that he was “still not satisfied with the DNA results” and maintained that “justice was not done” in the case.

Judge Mnguni repeatedly explained to him that there was nothing he could do to change the judgment until after the case is finalised, after which he has the right to appeal the verdict if he believes he was unfairly convicted.

The judge said he was prepared to adjourn the case until tomorrow, but not longer, in order to give Mdunge an opportunity to find a new legal representative.

Despite Mdunge’s arguments that he needed more time, Judge Mnguni remained adamant that the court would proceed tomorrow, and warned Mdunge to be ready to continue on that day.

“The court has been very patient with you. We don’t want to waste any more time.

“We want to finalise this matter,” the judge said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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