32 life sentences for second ‘balaclava rapist’

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A heinous reign of terror‚ rapes‚ robberies and kidnappings in Johannesburg has come to an end with the second “balaclava rapist” being sentenced to 32 life sentences and 270 years behind bars.

Sinja Mabitsela and Josias Mkansi went on a violent crime spree spanning eight years in Alexandra until they were caught in 2015.

Judge Carla van Veenendaal convicted Mabitsela on 23 counts of rape‚ 5 counts of compelled rape‚ 17 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances and 2 counts of kidnapping. He was sentenced on Tuesday in South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg which heard that he was high on drugs when the offences were committed.

His accomplice‚ Josias Mkansi‚ was sentenced in October to 14 life sentences and 185 years.

In several of the attacks the duo forced men at gunpoint to rape their partners while they watched. This‚ the court heard‚ had resulted in a string of failed relationships and ruined lives after the crimes.

Miranda Jordan-Friedman from Women & Men Against Child Abuse welcomed the multiple sentences handed down to the duo. “We are very happy with this sentence – between the two serial rapists they received 46 life sentences and 425 years. This sends a strong message to other possible perpetrators that no acts of abuse will be tolerated‚” said Jordan-Friedman.

The pair operated in East Bank park‚ Tsutsumani‚ West Bank cemetery and Jukskei Park in Alexandra for six years. A sudden spike in reported rape incidents as well as similar modus operandi in which the men wore balaclavas when committing the crimes led to a police investigation.

Tip-offs from the public and tracking of the victims’ cellphones led to their arrests.

by Petru Saal – TimesLIVE

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