Gauteng serial rapist handed 20 life sentences

2019-01-25 13:22
Prison. (Jackie Clausen, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)

Prison. (Jackie Clausen, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)

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Ekurhuleni serial rapist Joseph Rasempane Mahloma has been handed 20 life sentences by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

In imposing the sentences on Friday afternoon, Judge Leicester Adams said Mahloma did not show any remorse for what he had done.

"He has very little or no aspects of rehabilitation", Adams added.

"Some of your victims have submitted that they have permanent emotional scars, and did not have trust in men anymore after their horrific rape incidents", Adams said.

In July last year, Mahloma was found guilty of 94 criminal charges, which include 15 counts of kidnapping, several counts of the unlawful possession of a firearm, robbery with aggravating circumstances and sexual assault. He was handed sentences ranging from three to 15 years for those charges.

Mahloma was initially facing 105 criminal charges, and had 11 dropped.

'Extreme incidents'

Mahloma's life sentences will run concurrently, together with the other sentences he received.

"The trial record is full of incidents where they were in the extreme, and victims have had to often be comforted as they narrated their accounts of their rape incidents," Adams continued.

He committed the crimes in and around Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, in January and August 2014. During the trial, the court heard how Mahloma had broken into residents' homes, robbed the occupants and raped the women and teenagers living there.

He forced some of his victims to use drain water to wash their genitals. Adams said 20 rape charges were serious.

"This is now prevalent in society... and in my sentencing, I would have taken into consideration that Mahloma was a first-time offender."

During sentencing arguments, Mahloma told the court he had to head a family from a young age and grew up without a father.

He also submitted that his three children would grow up without a father figure if he was sent to prison for life. Mahloma pleaded for lesser sentences to be imposed.

Adams, however, said that he had considered Mahloma's submissions but also considered the "trauma" Mahloma's victims had to endure since their rape incidents.

"Others were forced to wash their private parts with contaminated water, while others were forced to walk long distances to their homes after they were dragged to open fields," Adams said.

Mahloma previously claimed that he had committed the sexual acts while he was intoxicated and that he did not remember any of the "one-night stands" he had with his victims.

He also alleged that he never received complaints of being aggressive from any of the women, who he claimed to have slept with consensually.

During the sentencing, Mahloma was unhappy with the media's presence in court, despite having been informed about the judge's order granting the press access.

He was brought in, but immediately returned to the holding cells after he was heard saying: "You will call me if I am needed. I request to go downstairs".

He then refused to come back up, but was persuaded to by his lawyer, who assured him that cameras would not show his face. That request was agreed to by the State.

The media had taken photos of Mahloma during previous appearances.

Mahloma applied for leave to appeal the sentences, arguing that another court may come to a different conclusion and offer a more lenient punishment.

But the State argued that forensic evidence pointed to Mahloma being the perpetrator, and that no reasonable court would come about a different conclusion.

The application to appeal both the convictions and sentencing has been postponed to February 1.

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