Rhodes Memorial rapist sentenced to 9 life sentences

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File: The UCT warned students to be wary in the vicinity of the Rhodes Memorial.

CAPE TOWN - Convicted serial rapist, Mthunzi Hlomane was sentenced to nine life sentences and 108 years of direct imprisonment after standing trial for 12 counts of rape and kidnapping and five counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

Hlomane (43), also known as the Rhodes Memorial rapist, entered a plea and sentencing agreement with the state. The sentences will run concurrently and he will not be automatically eligible for parole after 25 years in prison. 

Advocate Susan Galloway explained, "The Parole Board of the Department of Correctional Services will have to consider the nine life terms and the number of years he has been given.He is going to spend a long time in jail."

Hlomane targeted the University of Cape Town students attacking them around the Rhodes Memorial area.

READ: Serial rapist could be on the loose at UCT

He used his geographical knowledge of the area to search for victims that had braids, he admitted in his plea agreement with the state.

Advocate Galloway explained: “All the crimes the accused pleaded guilty to are serious in nature and involve vulnerable victims, i.e. young women, walking or jogging alone. These rapes were committed after they had been planned by the accused in that he targeted victims fitting a certain profile.

"The accused not only raped the victims (some more than once) but also robbed them of what little possession they had on their person at the time, and executed the crimes over an extended period of time (usually almost overnight)."

“The accused also added to the humiliation of the complainants by forcing them to go about almost naked and/or blindfolded; creating the impression that he was taking photographs of them with his cell phone, and forcing them into engaging into conversations with him about their private lives all of which added to their trauma.” said Advocate Galloway.

She also revealed that the accused used the cell phone of one of the victims to make contact with her after the incident which added to her trauma. He also threatened to post the photographs he took or pretended to take of the other victim on social media if she did not co-operate and also tied her up and threatened to leave her on her own should she not co-operate, which further added to her trauma.

He severely assaulted one victim and strangled her to the point of fainting. That victim further sustained a fracture of the right nasal bone and a dislocation of the jaw.

Another victim was forced to apologise to him after she attempted to defend herself. 

One of the victims sustained serious injuries to her face and head  and after he had raped her several times, he forced her to take him to an ATM machine and to withdraw money which she had to hand over to him.

The NPA stated that it welcomed the sentence, " it confirms our resolve to prioritise crimes against women and children and sexual violence.

"We hope that this sentence will send a message to victims that the NPA is committed in the fight against abuse of women and children and sexual violence will further participate in the coming 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign in attempt to raise awareness against this cruelty."