Esikhaleni serial rapist Mhlonipheni Mjadu was sentenced to multiple years in prison by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Mtubatuba on Thursday.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said the 25-year-old Mjadu was sentenced to seven terms of life imprisonment for seven counts of rape, 75 years for five counts of robbery, 30 years for six counts of housebreaking, and 12 years for attempted rape.
"Mjadu was accused of terrorising the community of Esikhaleni since 2013. He would forcefully enter the victims' homes and attack them. He threatened his victims with a firearm, before he raped and robbed them. All these cases were reported at Esikhaleni police station and were allocated to the Empangeni Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for further investigation," Zwane said.
His reign of terror came to an end in 2016.
"During January 2016, a police constable was allegedly robbed of his firearm at Esikhaleni. He managed to overpower the suspect and arrested him. During the course of the investigation the accused was linked through DNA analysis to 19 other crimes committed at Esikhaleni, as from 2013. The arrest brought his crime spree to an end and prevented him from terrorising the Esikhaleni community further," said Zwane.
He added that, following the DNA linkage, the investigating officer had charged Mjadu in all 19 cases, and that he was eventually found guilty on all 19 counts.
Zwane said police management had applauded the judgement.
"We are pleased that this serial offender has been removed from society."