Hammanskraal serial rapist jailed for life
Hammanskraal serial rapist Dudu Simelane was jailed for life on Tuesday by the High Court in Pretoria.
Judge Jody Kollapen sentenced the 29-year-old father of four children to two life terms for repeatedly raping two of his victims, and to 15 years' imprisonment on each of four charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances.
He was sentenced to a total of 122 years and six months' imprisonment, which would run concurrently with his life sentence, on 25 charges of rape, sexual assault, abduction, extortion, robbery and theft.
The court earlier rejected Simelane's claims that he had been framed and that had never met any of the complainants except a young sales assistant, with whom he had consensual sex.
On Tuesday, Simelane maintained his was innocent and said he wanted to get legal aid so he could take his conviction on review.
Kollapen refused to postpone the trial, and told Simelane he could exercise his right to appeal after he had been sentenced.
Simelane, who represented himself, told the court his life was in danger in jail because he had previously worked as a police informer.
He also said his two young children lived with his elderly mother and would have no-one to look after them if she died.
The judge said Simelane had deliberately sought out young female job seekers and had exploited them by offering them jobs that did not exist.
Many of his seven victims had let down their guard and trusted him, but he abused their trust in the most devastating way by abducting, raping and stealing from them and extorting money from some of their families.
He had acted in a brazen, callous and calculated fashion and had exposed his victims to the most extreme form of physical and psychological degradation.
After abducting his victims, he had cast himself as their protector by suggesting their lives were in danger from others and that only he could save them.
Kollapen said Simelane's crimes had been well-planned and carefully executed over several months and were not just some instinctive act of social deviousness.
Some of the crimes took place over a period of three days and Simelane had the opportunity to reflect carefully on his actions.
The judge said he had been moved by the courage and determination of many of the victims, who had resolved to overcome their horror experiences, but he could not ignore the emotional toll the crimes had taken on them.
"We've moved a long way from the idea that women play a secondary role and that men can do with them as they please," Kollapen said.
"Your behaviour demonstrated an arrogance and contempt for women, which is at odds with the values we try to create in our society."
Many of the victims and their families said they were satisfied that justice had finally been done.
"I'm very happy it's finally over," one of them said.