Acornhoek serial rapist sentenced to 8 life terms and 46 years in jail

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  • A Mpumalanga serial rapist has been sentenced to eight life terms and 46 years in jail for raping several women and a 12-year-old girl. 
  • Thabiso Oscar Mathumba, 37, was sentenced in the Mpumalanga High Court on Monday.
  • His modus operandi included attacking victims who were walking on the streets of Acornhoek or in their homes.

The Mpumalanga High Court has sentenced serial rapist Thabiso Oscar Mathumba to eight life terms and 46 years in jail.

Mathumba, 37, was sentenced on Monday morning following a reign of terror that began in 2014 and ended in 2019.

He preyed on his unsuspecting victims, including a 12-year-old girl, in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga.

Mathumba was convicted on eight counts of rape, one count of compelled rape, armed robbery, two counts of assault with grievous bodily harm, housebreaking with intent to rape, pointing a firearm and compelling children to witness a sexual offence.

Mpumalanga National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said between 2014 and 2017, Mathumba would accost unsuspecting victims walking on the street late at night in Acornhoek.

"He would hit them with a bottle on their faces, point them with a firearm or stab them and their companions, drag them to the bushes and forcefully rape them," Nyuswa added.

READ | 10 life sentences for KwaZulu-Natal serial rapist

Mathumba's youngest victim was a 12-year-old whom he raped in broad daylight. 

"He accosted the minor who was on her way to an initiation school with her friends. He hit her friends, and they ran away, leaving their friend behind. Mathumba then dragged the victim to the bushes while beating her. He then raped her twice.  

"Another complainant was sleeping in her house when Mathumba broke into the house. He raped her in front of her minor siblings," Nyuswa said.

Mathumba was arrested in 2019 after he raped another victim who managed to identify him and report him to the police. 

He was positively linked to other cases after Buccal DNA swabs were taken from him.

"During his trial, he pleaded not guilty. Prosecutor advocate Lihle Ngcobo led evidence from various witnesses, including police officers, who attended multiple crime scenes, and forensic experts.

"The J88 medical reports confirmed physical injuries his victims sustained during their rape ordeals. Victim impact statements compiled by social worker Zodwa Lekhuleni were also presented to the court.

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"In mitigation of sentence, Mathumba admitted that he committed the offences. However, he claimed that it was because of the anger exacerbated by his parents' separation that happened when he was 27 years of age," said Nyuswa.

Ngcobo addressed the court about the scourge of gender-based violence and its impact on the society.

"She further requested the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentences," added Nyuswa.

Acting Judge Johanna Mthimunye sentenced Mathumba to life imprisonment on each rape count and 46 years' imprisonment for the other counts.

Mthimunye also ordered his name be included in the National Register for Sexual Offenders.

Mathumba was also declared unsuitable to work with children and unfit to possess a firearm.

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