Nelspruit - A serial rapist who pleaded guilty to raping three young women and blamed liquor for his crimes, has been sentenced to 22 years in jail by the Nelspruit High Court.
Passing sentence on Wednesday, Judge JJ Strydom described Nkosinathi Matsane’s crimes as the acts of a serial rapist.
“The accused and his companion had no regard to the rights and dignity of the women they raped. Rape is the most atrocious crime. It is the invasion of the most private part of a woman. It is degrading, humiliating, violent and also destroys their joy for the rest of their lives,” he said.
He supported the State’s argument that Matsane did not deserve leniency because alcohol played a role in the offences.
If he had not changed his plea to guilty, he would have faced a minimum sentence of life imprisonment for each count of rape.
Long negative impact
Strydom said the court believed he was remorseful as he had asked for forgiveness both from the court and the victims.
Matsane, 37, from Masoi in Mpumalanga, was arrested in 2015 on charges of kidnapping, armed robbery, and three counts of rape.
He committed the first rape in June 2009, the second in October 2013, and the third in January 2014.
“I am remorseful of what I have done and I ask the court and the victims for forgiveness," he said in a plea statement his lawyer Melanie Erasmus read to the court.
Matsane said during one of the rapes he and a companion, who was still at large, kidnapped a woman at a tavern in a village in Masoi at night.
“After we took her to the bush, my friend dragged her to a ditch where he raped her. When he finished I also took a turn and raped her,” he said.
Prosecutor Eric Sihlangu said the offences were serious and would impact negatively on the victims for a long time. He asked the court to impose a harsh sentence.
He said Matsane failed to take the court into his confidence and explain what provoked the eleventh-hour change of heart to plead guilty.
“Many offenders regret their conduct afterward, but that does not make their plea of guilt genuine,” Sihlangu said.