Tembisa rapist pursuing religious study in prison, but has no remorse
The sentencing proceedings of serial rapist Joseph Rasempane Mahloma have begun with a probation officer’s report asking the court to make sure he receives a life sentence for his terrible crimes.
Last year, Mahloma was found guilty at the high court in Johannesburg on 91 criminal charges, including dozens of counts of rape, assault and defeating the ends of justice, for his seven-month rape spree across Tembisa and Ivory Park.
In his judgment, judge Leicester Adams spent three days going through each of Mahloma’s attacks, condemning him for terrorising these communities.
Between January and August 2014, he would break into residents' homes, rob the occupants and rape the women and teenagers living there.
In two particularly grim incidents, Mahloma forced his victims to use sewage drain water to wash their genitalia, seemingly in a bid to destroy DNA evidence that could have led to his capture.
The marathon three-year trial continued on Tuesday, with state prosecutors Leisha Surenda and Debbie Zinn presenting probation officer reports and victim impact statements as they fought to ensure he receives life sentences for each of his rape convictions.
The first item read into the court record on Tuesday morning was a report from social worker and probation officer Xoliswa Budaza, who had interviewed Mahloma and numerous members of his family.
She noted during her interviews that Mahloma believed sex strengthened relationships, yet he was prone to one-night stands. He continued to insist that he was innocent of the rape spree, but was willing to concede that some of the woman identified as his victims could have been some of his one-night stand experiences.
He also revealed to her that he had been arrested in Limpopo for rape and robbery, but that after escaping from custody in 2013, he was unsure what happened to that criminal case.
Mahloma had told Budaza that since his incarceration, he had "become a believer" and was pursuing religious study in prison.
Budaza was convinced that Mahloma should receive a custodial sentence, as he poses a danger to society. She also suggested he should have access to rehabilitation services in prison, though she was not convinced he would take to such rehabilitation easily due to his apparent lack of remorse.
The sentencing proceedings will continue this week.