Court slaps serial rapist with 11 life terms for six-year reign of terror

23 February 2024 - 14:14
By Khanyisile Ngcobo
A serial rapist has been sentenced to more than 300 years behind bars in a North West court. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF A serial rapist has been sentenced to more than 300 years behind bars in a North West court. Stock photo.

A man who terrorised women in Wolmaransstad for nearly six years has been sentenced to 11 life terms by the North West High Court.

Johannes Tshabile, 43, was found guilty of rape, attempted murder and assault.

In a joint statement the National Prosecuting Authority and police said: “Tshabile’s conviction emanates from incidents between December 2012 and May 2018, wherein he accosted unsuspecting women on the streets. He would then drag them to nearby fields, threaten them with a knife, rob them of their belongings and rape them before fleeing.

“In some instances, he would strangle, stab with a knife and assault them with bricks and other objects before robbing and raping them.

“He would [also] accost couples and attack the men and assault them before robbing and raping their partners after they [the men] had fled the scene”.

The serial rapist's victims ranged from 15 to 65 years and he would carry out some offences with an “unknown accomplice who committed similar offences with him”.

Tshabile's reign of terror came to an end in 2019 when he was arrested after an intensive police investigation.

He was linked to the crimes through DNA.

“He managed to escape from the Wolmaransstad police station, aided by a police officer, but was later rearrested and the police officer was dismissed from duty and criminally charged. The matter is pending in court.

“In aggravation of sentence, [state prosecutor] advocate Riekie Krause urged the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment, considering the emotional, physical, and psychological trauma suffered by Tshabile's victims.

“She further urged the court to consider the victim impact statements, wherein victims described their ordeal and the trauma they continue to suffer in their lives, owing to the rape and assault incidents.”

The court, sitting in the Klerksdorp regional court, sentenced Tshabile to 11 life sentences for rape and a cumulative 363 years for rape, attempted murder, theft, robbery with aggravating circumstances, robbery, attempted robbery, assault, assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, attempt to commit a sexual offence and sexual assault.