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Innocent's 'One Man' crime spree ends with 'resurrected' jail sentence

06 March 2019 - 12:59 By Ernest Mabuza

Soweto's serial criminal Innocent Lungisani Mdlolo will serve four life sentences and 240 years in prison, in accordance with an order written by a judge who has since died.

The sentence is the original document which Mdlolo had tried to evade when he escaped from the Palm Ridge court building in 2014.

Nicknamed "One Man", Mdlolo rampaged through the Klipspruit area of Soweto, where he accosted people in their cars and homes between July and December 2012 .

Mdlolo was found guilty on October 26 2014 on 10 counts of housebreaking with intent to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances, five counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, three counts of rape, one count of murder, and a count of possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

He escaped on December 2 2014, the day he was to be sentenced by Judge George Maluleke, who passed away in 2017.

However, before Maluleke died, he prepared a written judgment on sentence.

Mdlolo was rearrested in November last year in connection with cash-in-transit heists in Gauteng.

His original case was set down for Wednesday for the sentence that had been prepared by Maluleke to be read by another judge, Ratha Mokgoatlheng.

Mdlolo, 35, said on Wednesday he expected Maluleke to sentence him.

However, Mokgoatlheng told Mdlolo he was empowered to read a judgment that had been prepared by another judge.

"The fact that he is dead does not end the crime," Mokgoatlheng said.

He said it was rare for a criminal to abscond before a judge had signed the judgment.

He said the advantage for the new judge was that there was no need to go through the trial record or read all the evidence before preparing the sentence.

"This is a a living document and has been resurrected by the rearrest of the accused," Mokgoatlheng said.

Mdlolo was sentenced to life by the South Gauteng High Court on each of the three rapes, life for the count of murder, 15 years each for the counts of housebreaking, 15 years each for the counts of aggravated robbery and 15 years each for the unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition.

Mokgoatlheng said all the sentences would run concurrently.

Mdlolo, who was handcuffed and under heavy police guard, indicated he wanted to appeal his conviction and sentence.