A serial rapist‚ who preyed on small-in-stature teenagers in the Pinetown and Ntuzuma areas of Durban between 2010 and 2016‚ was sentenced to five life sentences and a further 68 years in prison on Monday.
While all the sentences will run concurrently‚ the collective weight of all the sentences will be considered if and when Mthobisi Mthoba Mnyandu is ever considered for parole after serving 25 years behind bars.
“He is a menace to society and he must be removed for a long period of time‚” Durban high court judge Mokgere Masipa said.
Mnyandu‚ who is now in his early 30s‚ was convicted earlier this year by Masipa of eight counts of kidnapping‚ seven counts of rape and one of robbery. This after she heard the evidence of his victims some of whom told of how they had been grabbed by him in public places but their screams for help from bystanders had fallen on deaf ears because he claimed they were his girlfriends.
Mnyandu pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
He said the sex was by consent after he “proposed love” to them. Later‚ under cross examination by State Advocate Krishan Shah‚ he said “the devil made me do it”.
He conceded that he was “overcome by lust” but continued to deny that he had raped them. The only thing he did wrong was he “moved quickly with them”.
Passing sentence‚ the judge highlighted the victim impact statements handed in to the court in which the young women told of how their lives had changed after being raped.
They spoke of failing at school‚ “being scarred for life”‚ ashamed‚ being filled with hatred‚ particularly of men‚ having flashbacks and being afraid to walk alone.
“The prosecutor submitted that rape is a most serious offence. It is humiliating and degrading and a brutal invasion of privacy. The manner in which these crimes were committed is indicative of planning and calculation… He selected specific victims‚ young girls between the ages of 14 and 16 who were mostly virgins.
“They were small built and could not defend themselves. He appears to be a person who enjoys seeing his victims in pain and helpless.
“Most of them broke down while testifying. They said they were ‘killed alive’ by him.”
The judge noted that because Mnyandu had denied the rapes they had been forced to testify in detail to remove any doubt.
“He was never moved by this. Instead he smiled.”
Masipa said when he testified in mitigation of sentence‚ Mnyandu showed no remorse and‚ in fact‚ said that if he had not been arrested he would probably carry on kidnapping and raping.
She also noted that while minimum sentences had been in place for almost two decades‚ statistics showed that there had been an increase in these crimes.
“His victims face a bleak future, even those who went for counselling are battling to cope‚” the judge said.
BY TANIA BROUGHTON- TimesLIVE
Source: TMG Digital