Cheers as killer, serial rapist gets five life sentences
APPLAUSE erupted in the public gallery of the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria after a judge sentenced a serial rapist and killer to five life terms, as well an additional 210 years behind bars.
Charles Mthethwa, 35, a Zimbabwean national, is unlikely to ever walk the streets again as he is already serving six life terms for a series of other rapes and another murder.
He will serve his 11 life terms at the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria.
The 10 victims in his last rape spree were in court yesterday to hear his sentence.
While Judge Papi Mosopa was dealing with the impact which the rapes had on the victims – one of whom was a 14-year-old girl – several of the victims cried bitterly. They later said they were delighted Mthethwa would never walk the streets again.
His crime career began in 2013 when he raped the wife of a police officer in Thohoyandou. He was arrested at the time, but managed to evade the police. He continued with his rape and robbery spree, up to July 2015, when he was arrested by the community in Ivory Park following one of the rapes.
His DNA was then linked to an array of other rapes, robberies, kidnappings and even two murders.
Mthethwa was last year sentenced in the High Court Thohoyandou on several of the crimes. He received six life terms. He subsequently appeared in the High Court in Pretoria on the remaining 24 charges against him, as these crimes had been committed in and around the city.
Mthethwa pleaded guilty to all the charges. Apart from admitting that he had acted unlawfully and saying that he was sorry, he hardly spoke at all.
He refused to take the stand to explain the reasons for his reign of terror. Mthethwa yesterday, in a quiet voice, said he understood his sentence, before walking down to the holding cells.
He had accomplices during some of the rapes but did not disclose their identities. His victims gasped in shock when Judge Mosopa remarked during sentencing that these men were still prowling the streets.
Investigating officer Warrant Officer Hendrik Visser said police would not give up until these people were also behind bars.
The judge described Mthethwa’s conduct as barbaric and said he was not a candidate for rehabilitation.
He has HIV/Aids and never used a condom during the rapes.
He dragged his victims into dark bushes, where he either threatened them with a knife or throttled them until they handed over their money. He then raped them.
In one case he strangled the mother of a 3-year-old, Miriam Modika, to death. She had been on her way to work when she was overpowered on the outskirts of Centurion. After he had strangled her to death, he left her body in the bushes.
Her mother, Lucy Modika, told Independent Media that she had forgiven him, as God would deal with him one day.
In one case a woman who had experienced family problems, was praying at a “sacred place”, when Mthethwa suddenly appeared, went down on his knees and asked her to also pray for him.
While the victim was praying with closed eyes, he pounced, throttled and raped her.
Judge Mosopa said: “Women and children cannot walk the streets without fear of violence… It appears government is fighting a losing battle.”
Serial rapist Charles Mthethwa was sentenced to five life terms and a further 210 years in the Gauteng High High Court, Pretoria.