Taxi driver serial rapist to be sentenced in November

2018-10-16 19:43
High Court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

High Court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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Sentencing proceedings against a convicted taxi driver and serial rapist were adjourned today in the South Gauteng High Court sitting in Palm Ridge.

The matter was postponed to November 5 because Judge Cassim Moosa was ill and could not come to court.

On Monday, Moosa convicted Lebogang Gift Mokoena on 13 counts of rape, nine of kidnapping, nine of robbery with aggravating circumstances, nine of pointing an object that resembles a firearm, two of aiding and abetting someone to commit an offence, and one of sexual assault.

READ: Taxi driver found guilty on 43 counts of rape and kidnapping

On Friday, he pleaded guilty to the 43 charges.

Mokoena pleaded not guilty to a single charge of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

State prosecutor Rolene Bester, yesterday called for the court to find Mokoena guilty on that charge.

However, his lawyer Sabelo Nobangule argued that Mokoena should not be convicted on the charge.

The offence emanates from an incident on April 22, 2017, where Mokoena and his friend kidnapped a mother and her daughter.

Mokoena pleaded guilty to raping the daughter, but denied assaulting the mother.

Rape rampage

He said his friend had assaulted the mother, who was screaming while Mokoena was raping her daughter, because she was disturbing him.

READ: Two suspects identified in horror taxi rape, robbery in Gauteng

After convicting Mokoena on 43 counts, Moosa asked him to thoroughly prepare for his case before he was sentenced.

The judge also warned the convicted serial rapist that he was facing life imprisonment because of the seriousness of the crimes of which he was guilty.

Moosa said Mokoena could call witnesses or provide compelling and aggravating circumstances during mitigation of sentence that would convince the court to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence.

He will know when the court resumes if the charge of assault to cause grievous bodily harm will be added to the 43 charges of which he has been found guilty.

Mokoena went on a rampage for 13 months - between September 26, 2016 and October 12, 2017 - in parts of Gauteng, kidnapping and raping female taxi passengers.

He was nabbed by the police at a house in Soweto on October 23, 2017.

In his plea statement, Mokoena revealed his modus operandi that he used to kidnap, rape and rob female passengers across parts of Gauteng while driving around in a white Toyota Quantum minibus taxi.

Pleads for mercy from judge

The crimes were committed in parts of Soweto, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and the West Rand.

He also admitted during his plea that some of the victims had pointed him out during an identity parade and that he was linked to the crimes through his DNA.

He said he was pleading guilty voluntarily and that he had decided to take the court into his confidence and didn't want to waste its time.

"I don't know the state of the victims, and I know that they are going through trauma, which they have to live with for years to come," he said.

The convicted serial rapist pleaded for mercy from the judge.

Meanwhile, Mokoena is also awaiting sentence in the Roodepoort Regional Court next week.

He was convicted last month on charges of kidnapping, rape and robbery.

News24 has been informed that Mokoena has pleaded guilty to the charges because he was linked through DNA and was positively identified during an identity parade.

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Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  gender rights  |  women abuse

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