A serial rapist was sentenced to 14 life terms for each of the 14 counts of rape that he was found guilty of in the Mpumalanga High Court, sitting in Delmas, on Friday.According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Sipho Alfred Sithole from KwaMhlanga was caught after raping a woman outside a tavern in 2016. After his arrest, DNA samples positively linked him to a string of other crimes.The victim, who led the police to Sithole, was outside the tavern on her phone when he accosted her."Sithole stabbed her with a knife [on] the forehead. He then dragged her to a toilet and raped her," said Mpumalanga NPA spokesperson Monica Nyuswa.
During the trial, it emerged Sithole had committed a string of rapes, kidnappings and attempted murders between 2012 and 2016.Four of the victims, who were living in the same area as Sithole, were repeatedly raped by him."Sithole denied all the allegations levelled against him and maintained his innocence. Senior state advocate Eric Sihlangu led evidence of the victims who told the court how their ordeal affected their lives," Nyuswa said."Advocate Sihlangu further submitted victim impact reports and the accused was found guilty as charged."Judge Tony Thobane convicted Sithole on 14 counts and sentenced him to life for each count.The acting director of public prosecutions in Mpumalanga, advocate Matric Luphondo, welcomed the conviction and sentence.He said he hoped it would serve as a deterrent to would-be offenders in light of the scourge of these types of crimes against women and children in the country, Nyuwsa added.
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